Teachers, nurses, social workers: in Quebec, some 600,000 civil servants will be on strike this week, some starting an indefinite movement, notably to demand salary increases. After months of deadlock in negotiations with unions, the Quebec provincial government appointed a conciliator on Monday. “This strike vote is a cry for help. Our members tell us: 'We can't take it anymore,'” declared Caroline Senneville, the president of one of the unions.
Last month, the unions, who speak of a “historic strike”, rejected the latest offer from the provincial government of François Legault: a salary increase of 10.3% over five years and a bonus of 1,000 dollars (around 680 euros). for each civil servant. The Ministry of Labor considers that this offer is serious and in line with inflation forecasts, but it was rejected by the trade union organizations, who consider it "insulting", since it does not respond, according to them, to the increase in cost of life and would have the effect of “impoverishing” workers.
From Tuesday and for three days, 420,000 people, represented by the Common Front inter-union, will be on strike in health establishments, social services and schools. This is the second mobilization in November of this union front. On Thursday, 66,000 teachers from the Autonomous Education Federation will begin an indefinite general strike. Some 80,000 nurses and other health professionals will also walk off the job on Thursday and Friday. According to François Enault, one of the movement's union leaders, the objective is to find an agreement by Christmas to avoid a general strike. He hopes that Quebecers will support the strikers who “fight for good public services.”
In April, some 155,000 Canadian federal civil servants triggered one of the largest social movements in Canadian history, to demand better salaries and the introduction of more teleworking. Inflation in Canada fell slightly in September to stand at 3.8% year-on-year, compared to 4% the previous month.