Quebec's common front unionized workers vote to accept deal with province

MONTREAL — Some 420,000 unionized public sector workers have voted 74.8 per cent in favour of accepting an agreement in principle reached with the Quebec government.

The workers, who are part of the "common front" of four major unions representing education and health-care workers, announced today that the contentious negotiations that led to one of the province's biggest public-sector strikes have officially come to an end.

Union president Éric Gingras, of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, said the two sides will still need to continue to discuss problems in the education and health sectors, which haven't all been resolved by the deal.

The agreement in principle includes at least 17.4 per cent in pay raises over five years and inflation protection for the final three years of the deal, which is in effect until March 31, 2028.

The common front walked out for 11 days in November and December and had threatened an indefinite strike this month, while another education union, the FAE, was on a general strike for 22 days.

The FAE narrowly accepted its labour agreement with the province in January, while the 80,000-member Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec union representing nurses and other health workers continues to negotiate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press