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Quebec’s Common Front on strike for 3 days, followed by other unions

Quebec’s Common Front of public sector employees is on strike for the next three days.

The strike action started at midnight Tuesday and is due to last until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 23.

The Common Front comprises 420,000 health care, social services, education and college workers who are part of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) and the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ).

These groups represent the majority of teachers and orderlies, as well as tens of thousands of support staff in health care and education and thousands of technicians and professionals in health care and social services.

Essential services are scheduled to be provided in the health care and social services networks but not in the education sector.

Non-urgent surgeries and appointments are expected to be postponed.

The Common Front’s strike mandate could go as far as an indefinite strike as early as December.

In addition to the Common Front’s three strike days this week, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) is planning to hold two walkouts on Thursday and Friday.

The organization, which represents 80,000 nurses, nursing assistants and other care professionals, is also in the middle of negotiations.

In addition to pay rises, the FIQ’s demands relate to work-life balance, overtime and nurse-to-patient ratios.

Starting on Thursday, the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) is set to launch its own unlimited strike.

The FAE represents 66,000 teachers, particularly in Montreal and Quebec City.

Plus, 700 professionals in 10 colleges who are members of the Syndicat des professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ) are set to strike on Nov. 23 and 24.

— This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 21, 2023. 

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