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Nurses, health workers set to join other Quebec public sector workers on picket lines

Quebec strikes widen

About 80,000 unionized Quebec nurses and other health-care workers will be joining fellow public sector workers already on strike since last week.

The health workers are members of the FIQ, who will begin a four-day strike today, joining workers from four unions representing 420,000 Quebec public sector workers who began a weeklong strike on Friday.

Those workers include teachers, education support staff and lab technicians and are members of a group of four unions that calls itself the "common front.''

The unions rejected the government's most recent contract offer, which includes a salary increase of 12.7 per cent over five years, saying it doesn't keep pace with inflation.

On Sunday, representatives from the common front unions said they are expected to update members beginning in a week. If an agreement isn't in place by then, they could also launch an unlimited strike after the holidays.

The latest strikes are the third such walkout since early November and meanwhile, around 66,000 teachers who are members of the FAE union have been on an unlimited strike since Nov. 23.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said last week he's open to offering workers more money but wants unions to make concessions on issues like flexibility in scheduling and transfer of workers between facilities.



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