Quebec public sector workers march in Montreal amid stalled contract talks

MONTREAL — Unions representing Quebec public sector workers say they expect thousands of people to attend a demonstration in downtown Montreal today.

A coalition of four union groups are organizing the march amid stalled negotiations with the government to renew collective agreements covering hundreds of thousands of employees.

Éric Gingras, president of an organization that includes teacher and health care worker unions, says the goal is to amplify workers' calls for higher salaries and better working conditions.

Quebec Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel issued a social media statement this morning saying unions need to be more flexible in negotiations.

She said the government's goal is to reach agreements with the unions as quickly as possible to avoid disruptions to public services.

But Gingras rejects the suggestion that public sector employees need to do more, saying union flexibility in the past only served to make way for poor political decisions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press