The President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, deplores the resumption of the strike of the 1,800 government engineers, given the fact that the two parties "were a hair's breadth from getting along", she confirmed.
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Since the suspension of their strike on May 19, negotiations have “progressed significantly,” said Ms. LeBel during a press scrum at the National Assembly.
The ninth and final government offer proposed that engineers raise their salaries from $95,900 to $125,000, at the maximum level, on the basis of a work week of 37.5 hours, instead of 35 hours.
“Then we even go up to $130,000 for team leaders. So we are on the issues. The main issue being the attraction and retention of expertise,” reported the President of the Conseil du trésor.
Negotiations, which continued until late last night, broke down at the last minute.
"This morning, I can't understand why we're going back on strike, it's up to them, but I can't explain it to myself," repeated Ms. LeBel, who is asking the union to continue working at the bargaining table.
The minister, who is overseeing the negotiations, fears that the continuation of the labor dispute will result in delays on road construction sites. This could notably be the case for the construction sites of the Île-d'Orléans and Île-aux-Tourtes bridges, Highway 50 between Gatineau and Mirabel, and Route 117 between Labelle and Rivière-Rouge. .
“Each day that passes will have a certain impact. We cannot take the road infrastructure hostage,” said Ms. LeBel.