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Striking teachers and their supporters hold a rally in front of Premier Francois Legault's office in Montreal, on Dec. 22.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Unions representing more than 200,000 Quebec government workers reached tentative working condition deals with the government over the weekend, but that may not be enough to stave off a strike in the new year.

Negotiations around salaries and benefits remain ongoing and aren’t part of the proposed deals announced Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The unions are part of a labour group calling itself the “common front,” which has said its 420,000 members will launch an unlimited strike in the new year if an agreement isn’t reached.

One of the unions that has announced a tentative working condition deal, the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux, said its 65,000 members won’t vote on the proposal until an agreement is also reached on wages.

“Salary issues will have to be resolved in order to avoid an unlimited general strike by the common front in early 2024,” the union said in a news release Sunday morning.

APTS President Robert Comeau, whose union members include professional and technical staff in the health care system such as laboratory technicians, said the working condition agreement will lead to better recognition of members expertise and will help the government attract and retain workers.

The government also announced a tentative working condition deal Sunday with a union representing 35,000 education support workers.

“This will, in particular, reduce precariousness and encourage more full-time positions, because more hours will be offered to support staff who will have new responsibilities providing help and support in the classroom,” the office of Sonia LeBel, the minister responsible for government administration and the chair of the Treasury Board, said in a news release Sunday. She added details of the agreement remain confidential.

Another tentative deal announced Sunday morning includes unions representing around 20,000 teachers at the province’s junior colleges.

The FTQ, one of the unions that is part of the common front, said Sunday that one its member unions, which represents support staff at junior colleges, has also reached a tentative working condition deal, but like the APTS, it said that proposal will have to be combined with an agreement on salaries to avoid a strike.

On Saturday evening, the province said a tentative deal on working conditions had also been reached with a union representing 120,000 health care workers, including patient care attendants, respiratory therapists, administrative staff and some nurses.

That proposed deal, which covers 40 per cent of Quebec’s health-care workers, will improve work-life balance for staff and “improve the services offered during unfavourable shifts through better working conditions,” Ms. LeBel’s office said in a news release.

Tentative working condition deals were also announced with unions representing support workers in junior colleges and professionals – such as psychologists, librarians, engineers and analysts – who are employed by French-language school service centres.

The common front is negotiating together, with discussions around salaries, benefits and retirement taking place at a central bargaining table. Talks around working conditions are being conducted separately and discussed by sector.

As recently as Wednesday, union leaders had said the central negotiations were more advanced than the sector negotiations.

On Friday, unions representing around more than 100,000 teachers said they’ve reached similar proposed deals on working conditions.

The common front has not said when in the new year a strike would begin. Its members have staged three strikes, each one longer than the last, since November, with the most recent lasting a week.

A separate teachers union, Fédération autonome de l’enseignement, said Friday that it was entering intensive negotiations with the provincial government. Its 65,000 members have been on a general unlimited strike since Nov. 23.

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec which represents most nurses as well as other health-care workers, said Saturday that negotiations remain ongoing.

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