MONTRÉAL, Oct. 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Teaching and support staff of the Kativik School Board and the Cree School Board, members of the Association of Employees of Northern Québec (AENQ-CSQ), will be asked to vote on a three-day strike.
Without an employment contract for nearly seven months, their respective collective agreements having expired on March 31 earlier this year, the members of the AENQ-CSQ will have to decide whether they wish to authorize their union to launch a strike of three consecutive days in early December and approve an additional bank of three days to be used in early 2016, depending on the progress of negotiations.
Minimal wage offers
"The government is offering a 3% wage increase over the next five years, including a wage freeze for the first two years, even though remuneration experts anticipate an average wage increase of 2.8% in 2015. What's wrong with this picture?" remarked Larry Imbeault, President of the AENQ-CSQ.
"Furthermore, when we renewed our previous collective agreements, the increases granted to state employees were minimal and generally below the CPI. The government should stop trying to reach its zero-deficit goal by penalizing its employees. In fact, this year, the zero deficit conceals a payment of over $1.5 billion to the Generations Fund. Contrary to what the government claims, it does have the leeway to offer its employees more," the president explained.
"As if that were not enough to anger our members, the government is attacking their pension plan. Even though the pension plan is in very good financial health, the government claims it wishes to ensure the plan's sustainability. Nothing warrants the measures it wants to implement, including raising the retirement age to 62 and raising the penalty for early retirement from 4% to 7.2% per year," added Larry Imbeault.
Larry Imbeault hopes that members of the AENQ-CSQ, like the members of the Common Front, will show their dissatisfaction, mainly with the government's wage offers and its pension plan demands, by voting in favour of the three-day strike.
Founded in 1971, the Association of Employees of Northern Québec (AENQ), affiliated with the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), unites more than 1500 members. It represents the teaching and support staff of the Cree and Kativik School Boards who work in the nine Cree communities and the fourteen Inuit communities of Nunavik as well as the employees of the childcare centres on Cree territory (Eeyou Istchee).
For further information: Claude Girard, CSQ Communications Advisor, Telephone: 514-237-4432, E-mail: [email protected] , Twitter: @csq_centrale