Public Service: 510 million more on the table

quebec-veut-faire-grand-menage(Quebec) Couillard The government put on the table $ 510 million more in the hope of getting along with some 500,000 employees, La Presse has learned. But these wage increases would be variable geometry would affect in some, others not at all. Employees even essuieraient lost wages, accusing the union.

The 510 million would be added to the expected billion in the original offer, which represented a 3% increase in five years.

Quebec will present today a new pay offer to its employees. According to the union, the government would present the outcome of the discussions going on for months at a central table around the salary relativity. This exercise aims to correct inconsistencies in the scales by comparing the value of jobs in relation to each other according to criteria such as effort, skill, responsibility and working conditions. The government has decided to make a very large exercise and the result would be significant: all salary scales would be amended. There would be the largest wage restructuring the Government of Quebec since the Quiet Revolution, by the admission of the union.

Quebec wants to do spring cleaning in its pay structure. It would increase from 165 to only 28 the number of scales in force. The 450 job titles to the Quebec government would be distributed among the 28 scales.

The most recent meeting at the central bargaining table, Québec amounted to $ 510 million increases that would result from the exercise of salary relativity.

But these increases would not be paid immediately: a first tranche of 270 million would be paid in 2018, the second from 240 million in 2019.

The increases would be not of the same value for all employees. They vary according to changes in each of the salary scales. Workers would see their hourly rate increase, while others do not.

Each employee would be integrated into the new pay scale as follows: it would place a step whose hourly rate is equal to or immediately above the one he has at present. This integration would result in higher or lower wage increases for some, while for others, there would be no change.

Rates revised downwards

The union, however, identifies significant problems. For some jobs, the hourly rate on top of the ladder would be lowered. Approximately 35,000 people suffer a loss of pay, such as lawyers youth centers, administrative officers of the health sector, physiotherapists and training school counselors, according to union sources. The Treasury would present a mechanism for distributing the decline over a few years.

The Press had asked earlier this week to the President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux, if there would be “losers” with the performance of salary relativity, though some would be left with less pay. “We want to solve problems, we do not want to create,” he had said simply. His office did not call back The Press yesterday.

For nurses, the pay scale always involve 12 steps, but there would be significant changes: the hourly rate for the first six levels would be lowered, while it would be up for the last six, according to union sources. Several nurses currently employed would therefore entitled to increases, more or less important as applicable. But those would be hired in the future would be entitled to a lower salary at the entry than had hitherto courses.

This would not be the only job category where the phenomenon occurs, estimates the union. It concluded that the government would release savings over time with this wage restructuring. She puts the figure at 200 million.

In the case of teachers in primary and secondary, the Treasury would create an “exception rule” according to the union. It considers that the outcome of salary relativity would lead to significant increases that can not afford to pay, they add. Teachers were therefore entitled to a share of the salary increases of 510 million, but the increases would be lower than projected in the result of the exercise of salary relativity, according to union sources.

The basic parameters provided for in the initial offer and the government that applies to all state employees remain the same: a wage freeze for two years and an increase of 1% for each of the following three years.

According to our sources, the unions are willing to correct inconsistencies in the scales, but they want the basic settings are also subsidized. The new proposal also would pose a problem for them since they want to avoid that employees received wage increases for other staff costs. They apprehend many debates internally, while everyone will want to know if it touches a small or a big piece of the pie, or if it is private.

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