1695098545 The Legault government shot itself in the foot with the

The Legault government shot itself in the foot with the 30 percent increase in MP salaries

When it comes to negotiating with Quebec public and semi-public sector employees, I have never seen a government as inept as François Legault’s government.

Last June, while in the midst of negotiations with civil servants, the Legault government rushed to vote for a 30 percent pay increase for MPs.

And in this time, the same CAQ government notes that the Common Front of Trade Union Centers is grossly exaggerating by demanding an increase in civil servants’ salaries of around 18% over three years.

What urgency was there to grant this 30% increase immediately, deserved as it may be? For any smart strategist, this is a spectacular salary increase that you can give yourself after negotiating and signing the collective agreements for “your” employees. And not before!

After treating themselves to a 30% increase, François Legault and his financier, Finance Minister Eric Girard, are now relying on the efficient Sonia LeBel, the minister in charge of government administration and president of the Ministry of Finance, to negotiate the lowest possible salary increases for government employees in Quebec.

Poor Madame LeBel! By forcing her to give her colleagues in Parliament a 30% raise, she automatically shot herself in the foot.

The Joint Front of Central Trade Unions has a good game: since then it has not listened to Madame LeBel’s financial arguments in order to convince the Joint Front to significantly reduce its demands for salary increases, which are in the order of 18%. over three years.

According to the Common Front, the Legault government would only offer a 9% pay rise over five years. Nasty difference compared to the Legault government’s offers.

Trade union resistance is increasing

The Common Front is currently pumped up. He just released the results of a SOM survey on Quebecers’ perceptions of public sector negotiations.

This survey, conducted from July 26 to July 31, 2023 among 1,089 respondents, confirms, in the eyes of the Common Front leaders, that the population is “generally positive about the goals of workers” in the public sector.

Regarding the government’s offers, the survey shows that 56% of respondents believe the government’s offered salary increases of 9% over 5 years are not sufficient.

Other results that the Common Front is counting on to fully fire up its 420,000 union members:

– 87% of respondents believe that the government needs to improve the working conditions of its employees in order to remain competitive in the labor market;

– 86% also believe that salaries should at least be linked to the cost of living;

– 77% also believe that salaries in the public sector should be equal to those in the private sector.


If I were in the position of the Common Front, I would keep a “minor” embarrassment compared to the private sector.

According to the latest study on Quebec compensation just released by the Quebec Institute of Statistics, Quebec’s public and semi-public services offered better compensation than the private sector for comparable benchmark jobs in 2022. Teachers and nurses were excluded from the study.

To compare apples to apples, Statistique Québec reports the average salary per hour and the average total compensation per hour, which includes salary, the value of benefits, the value of retirement savings, etc.


The Prime Minister, François Legault, and the President of the Ministry of Finance, Sonia Lebel.

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