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Quebec to appoint conciliator as labour unions prepare for major strikes this week

QUEBEC — The province says it will appoint a conciliator to help bridge the gap in stalled contract negotiations with public sector unions ahead of major strikes this week.

The conciliator’s recommendations, however, won’t be binding.

A labour group representing about 420,000 public sector workers in education, health, and social services asked for a conciliator to help talks advance.

The group, which calls itself the “common front” will hold a three-day strike starting Tuesday.

The common front has rejected Quebec’s latest contract offer — a 10.3 per cent salary increase over five years and a one-time payment of $1,000 to each worker.

Unions haven’t said publicly whether they’ve made a counter-proposal, while their previous demands have included a three-year contract with annual increases tied to the inflation rate.

A union outside the common front and representing about 65,000 teachers will launch an unlimited general strike on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press