End of Common Front strikes in sight? Tentative deal reached

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Allyson Beauregard

Just before Christmas, a tentative deal was reached between the Quebec government and union leaders of the Common Front, which represents 400,000 public

Allyson Beauregard

Just before Christmas, a tentative deal was reached between the Quebec government and union leaders of the Common Front, which represents 400,000 public
servants including teachers and health care workers. English school board teachers across the province will vote on the tentative deal in the coming weeks; unions have until January 21 to approve the deal.
If the deal, which will give these government workers a 9% pay increase over five years as well as a one year increase in retirement age, is accepted by union
members, the tentative strike days for the majority of English-language teachers could be lifted. The unions originally demanded a 13.5% pay increase over three years while the government
proposed a 3% increase over five years.
The government has also withdrawn their proposed changes to working
conditions. During negotiations, Quebec proposed increasing the workweek from 32 to 35 hours, increasing class sizes, and abolishing coding, which would have increased the number of special needs
students in classes.
Earlier in December, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), which represents the majority of Quebec nurses, reached a deal on working conditions but not on salaries.
Many still without a deal
However, the tentative agreement does not settle striking French teachers
affiliated with the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) who remain at an impasse with the government. The Syndicat regroupant l’ensemble des
professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ), which represents white collar workers, has also not reached a deal.