White-collar workers in Quebec discreetly open the door to pressure tactics

White-collar workers in Quebec discreetly open the door to pressure tactics
White-collar workers in Quebec discreetly open the door to pressure tactics

Radio-Canada has learned that the Quebec City civil servants’ union is changing strategy due to stalled negotiations.

The discontent of white-collar workers is increasingly felt at the negotiating table. According to our information, the president, Réal Pleau, and the vice-president of the union have not attended the sessions planned in the negotiation calendar for three weeks. We would mention the lack of will of the management side to move things forward.

The Union of Municipal Civil Servants of Quebec City (SFMQ) has remained rather discreet since the start of the process, refusing to negotiate in the public arena. Before moving on to more muscular means of pressure, such as resorting to strikes, white-collar workers launch a visibility action. In the last hours, the union president added a new signature to his emails. We can read, under his name, the following inscription: Civil servant without employment contract.

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The president of the Union of Municipal Civil Servants of Quebec, Real Pleau.

Photo: Radio-Canada

We can then read: Sneakers are meant to propel forward, not backward!, in reference to Mayor Bruno Marchand’s espadrilles. The message ends with the following sentence: Attracting new employees is good, but retaining existing employees is better.

Union members are invited to add this inscription to their own signature as a show of solidarity. They are also invited to add a wallpaper on which we see the expression in negotiation and sneakers prominently displayed during their virtual meetings at work.

Change of tone

This gesture demonstrates once again that negotiations are off to a bad start with the various union groups and the Marchand administration. This change in tone among civil servants reflects a climate of discontent that is beginning to grow.

The president of the Union of Municipal Civil Servants of Quebec, Real Pleau, deplores that the negotiations are on the shoulder for a few weeks. However, there is still no question of asking its members for a strike mandate. I think things will be better in the fall if we have to take these steps.

Among the other groups, the union of manual employees of the City of Quebec obtained a strike mandate to exercise at the appropriate time. He has also just launched an advertising campaign on various radio stations in the capital in which we recall that if Quebec is a city worthy of postcards, it is because of the work of manual employees. Quebec’s blue-collar workers are still loyal to their jobs to ensure the maintenance of our beautiful city and we want it to last!we can hear.

This is in addition to the City’s request to use a mediator in its negotiations with the Fraternity of Police Officers of Quebec City in order to facilitate exchanges and promote a more sustained pace of exchanges between the parties with the aim of reaching a negotiated agreementwe explained in a recent press release.

13% over 5 years

Wage negotiations are about to begin with white-collar workers. The City is proposing increases of 13% over the next 5 years, with an increase of 4% from the first year. The proposal caused a stir when it was made public last February and left unions hungry for more.

It is certain that we will not sign at 13% over 5 years. We know the market, we know our valuecomments Réal Pleau.

He nevertheless remains hopeful of reaching a negotiated agreement, possibly even before the summer holidays. I still believe in. A blitz of negotiations is happening. We did it the last time in 2019, we had a vote if I remember correctly on July 4th. The union president will also be back at the negotiating table on Thursday.

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