(Quebec) The inter-union common front of public employees manifests an opening on the retirement age.
According to information obtained by The Sun, negotiators representing more than 400,000 employees in the public and parapublic sectors have been moving their cursors to the central bargaining table, one where we discuss wages and pensions.
The common front shows itself ready to accept that the retirement age be increased to 61 years if – and this is still an “if” significant – the objectives behind his “salary parameters” are filled.
Friday at the table, government negotiators officially lowered the demands formulated until they either go to the normal retirement age from 60 to 62 years. They are now demanding that he spends 61 years on 1 July 2019, says an associate partner of nearly this long round of negotiations.
Government demand always put on an actuarial penalty of 7.2% for early retirement. It would apply from 1 July 2017.
At the center table, the Treasury Board of message is still very clear. The “movement” of the retirement age is a prerequisite to everything else. He insists that without movement, no global agreement will only be possible with unions of some 500,000 employees in the public and parapublic sectors (counting those extraordinary forehead).
The common front intersyndical only clings more to the status quo. Behind closed doors, he said he was ready to advance on retirement at age 61 if the government agrees to offer its employees a “catch-up” with other workers in Quebec and if he provides them to protect their power of purchase.
But it would favor this passage occurs at age 61, not July 2019 but since the funding of the pension scheme for state employees would slip under the 90% mark.
Proof that it is now ready to move forward on this issue, the common front already seek to include, as retirement should be raised to 61 years, mitigation measures for some people leaving before this age. It would seek to reduce the number of years of actuarial penalty for employees that meet specific criteria.
It would also be willing to consent to the actuarial penalty increases to 5%, but in 2020. It is currently set at 4%. This 5% correspond to a “balance point” between contributors taking early retirement and those remaining at work.
For now, in wages, the Government of Québec continues to provide 5.3% increase over five years to its employees, including a percentage of “salary relativity.”
The trade union front claims, over three years, a minimum of 1% per year to protect the purchasing power of its members. It also requests 1% as catch-up. He adds a participation in the collective enrichment of 0.5% per year linked to GDP.
Surplus coveted by unions
The surplus of $ 1.7 billion recorded during the first half of the fiscal year by the Quebec government provides true flexibility to the Treasury Board, supports the president of the CSN, Jacques Létourneau.
“We are far from the catastrophic financial situation the government advance,” he said.
Based on the cumulative results to 30 September, the government budget balance shows a surplus of $ 1.7 billion, and taking into account the payment of $ 639 million to the Generations Fund. “This is an improvement of $ 1.7 billion compared to last year,” says a document from the Ministry of Finance of Québec on Friday.
The office of the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, however, it insists that the months ahead are generally in deficit. It says it is therefore not read this data and say that they advertise for maneuver at the end of the fiscal year on 31 March.
CSN believes that this discourse hides the truth. It notes that the surplus registered in the first half is much more substantial than in previous years.
Last year, from April to September 2014, Quebec recorded a surplus of only $ 43 million – after the traditional payment to the Generations Fund.
“The surplus this year is 40 times larger than last year, even taking into account payments to the Generations Fund, which increased by 13%,” says the union.
“After increases of 90% accorded to doctors for 10 years,” the government now has “political choice” to do, said Jacques Létourneau. “If there is no money for workers and public sector workers, there is a wicked problem,” he drops.
Sectoral agreements with teachers
Sectoral agreements were signed Monday with teachers in primary and secondary schools represented by the Trade Union Federation of Education and the Provincial Association of Teachers of Quebec.
The agreements on work organization in the public and parapublic sectors now involve more than 430,000 of the approximately 570,000 state employees (expressed here in numbers and not in “full-time equivalents”).