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Union workers in the public sector demonstrate in Quebec City, in November, 2020.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The province says it will appoint a conciliator to help bridge the gap in stalled contract negotiations with public sector unions ahead of major strikes this week.

The conciliator’s recommendations, however, won’t be binding.

A labour group representing about 420,000 public sector workers in education, health, and social services asked for a conciliator to help talks advance.

The group, which calls itself the “common front” will hold a three-day strike starting Tuesday.

The common front has rejected Quebec’s latest contract offer – a 10.3 per cent salary increase over five years and a one-time payment of $1,000 to each worker.

Unions haven’t said publicly whether they've made a counter-proposal, while their previous demands have included a three-year contract with annual increases tied to the inflation rate.

A union outside the common front and representing about 65,000 teachers will launch an unlimited general strike on Thursday.

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