State engineers are on strike | The union will not return to the table under these conditions

The President of the Union of 1800 State Engineers, Marc-André Martin, reiterates that there will be no return to the negotiating table “as long as the government insists that increasing our working hours means that our wages will rise, and so long because he does not make a wage offer that benefits the majority of our members”, since April 22 in general strike.

Posted at 12:00 p.m

Bruno Bison

Bruno Bison
The press

Accompanied by The press At the end of a demonstration held in front of the National Assembly on Wednesday, the President of the Quebec Government’s Professional Association of Engineers (APIGQ) responded to Minister Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Department. In the morning, she slammed APIGQ for breaking off talks Tuesday night and walking away from the negotiating table without comment on the latest salary offer, which she described as “substantial.”

“We are proposing something unprecedented in Quebec’s public service, the creation of two tariffs, two pay structures. This is unprecedented, said the minister and gave an update on the negotiations on Wednesday morning. Why are we doing this? This is because we recognize that at the Ministère des Transport there is a need to encourage, recognize and attract high-level expertise. »

“The emergence of this dual scale,” explained LeBel will make it possible to offer higher salaries to highly qualified engineers, which is normal. Engineers say they want to value expertise, but by demanding the same pay structure for everyone and the same pay increases. We want to get to the heart of the problem of high-level expertise in the Ministry of Transport. »

Only 19% of engineers

This latest salary offer, to be presented Tuesday night, would raise the salary of a state engineer at the first level of the scale from $54,000 to $62,000. At the highest level, salaries could rise from $96,000 to $122,000, according to the minister. This is an increase of 28%, well above union demands.

However, APIGQ’s president responded that the “generosity” of the latest government offer would only affect 19% of its members, or about one in five engineers.

“The engineers at the bottom of the ladder who don’t already have an ‘expert’ class would benefit the most from this. If we talk about hourly rates and take into account the increase in weekly working hours, they would see a real wage gain of 18%,” according to the union’s calculations.

On the other hand, according to Marc-André Martin, for 51% or half of APIGQ members, Quebec’s new offerings would mean an average hourly wage increase of 6-7%. That’s less than half the 14.7% pay catch APIGQ is asking for for the 1,800 state engineers, two-thirds of whom work at the Quebec Department of Transportation.

With the collaboration of Fanny Lévesque

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