The employees of Québec solidaire want to unionize

Les employés de Québec solidaire veulent se syndiquer

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
This is including the expansion of the political formation of the left, which has motivated the workers to request unionization.

Seeing the ranks of their political education increase the staff of the parliamentary wing and constituency offices of Québec solidaire (QS) want to unionize, to agree on their working conditions.

“The idea is not to make do 9 to 5 […]. Our initiative is not in this context. On the contrary, we are passionate people, we love our work, and Québec solidaire. We just want to ensure that QS grows in avoiding that it can for example be of the favorisitme or other situations of this type “, argues Samuel Pignedoli, political attaché to the member of parliament in solidarity of Hochelaga, Alexandre Leduc.

A petition for certification was filed on December 17, before the administrative Tribunal of work (TAT) by the Confédération des syndicats nationaux du Québec (CSN). If it is allowed, this is about a quarantine of the political employees who find themselves unionized, a first in Quebec.

“This is not an approach which is related to the problems, it happens in the continuity of the values of the party, this is not to have drastic changes, but rather to have sex with an equal and better to consult with employees,” said Mr. Pignedoli.

This is including the expansion of the political formation of the left, which has motivated the workers to file an application for organising, ” he says. In the election of October last, QS, which held three seats in the national Assembly, has boosted its number of elected members to ten. The party has even been officially recognized as a parliamentary group, enjoying for the next four years a budget of 1.6 million annually.

The management and the members of QS have responded positively to the approach of the employees. “The collective representation is a useful tool for labour relations and can contribute to improving the management of human resources. We intend to continue to work together in a positive spirit to the evolution of working conditions and the maintenance of good relations “, says Christian Dubois, director of the cabinet of Québec solidaire.

The challenge for a political formation whose employees are unionized lies in the conciliation of a share of activism and work, note Xavier Lafrance, a professor of political science at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

“The phenomenon is the same in the trade-union circles and in the community, where there is a lot of work related to the mobilization. One has the impression of always being on a mission, ” says Mr. Lafrance.

The other hand, the increase in the number of activists could also help ease the task of future unionized employees, said Mr. Lafrance. “A party with 20,000 members, can count on a lot of people willing to get involved, especially knowing if this can help to offer good working conditions to the employees,” he says.

Be inspired by the NDP

QS could the model of the New democratic Party (NDP) at the federal level, including the employees of the Parliament and constituency offices are unionized for the past ten years.

The workers of the NDP have established levels of salary to avoid the large wage differentials between employees performing the same function. Weeks of vacation are also planned according to their seniority.

“We are aware that it is a medium of very particular work, be in politics, it is often by passion. Employees are often required to do hours in the evenings or on the weekends, but it remains that there are many other normative clauses that can be framed.

“We can establish the age, the weeks of vacation, and regulate other situations “, points out Jean Lacharité, vice-president of the CSN.

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