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Quebec Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe responds to reporters questions on the COVID-19 pandemic before entering a cabinet meeting, May 20, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

A union representing at-home daycare workers in Quebec is asking the government to appoint an arbitrator in continuing contract negotiations to stave off a general strike set to begin on Monday.

The union, which represents 10,000 at-home daycare workers across the province, made the request on Sunday afternoon after negotiations with the government were held earlier in the day.

The union says it wants the independent arbitrator to evaluate the pay scale being discussed.

The daycare workers' top demand has been an increase in pay and the union says the government’s offer remains too low.

About 40 meetings have been held between the union and Quebec’s department of families, led by Minister Mathieu Lacombe, since March, 2019.

Earlier on Sunday, the union cancelled a planned news conference “because of progress achieved at the negotiating table.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Lacombe said the minister would respond to the union’s request later in the day.

On Friday, the daycare workers concluded just over two weeks of rotating strike days that were held across Quebec.

The union says it will suspend its pressure tactics if the government agrees to its request for the arbitrator.

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