Solidarity is key

We are all committed to our workplaces and we all want to do a good job. Even though we may work in different sectors, the challenges we face are essentially the same: overwork, insecurity, lack of recognition, etc.

It is for this reason that we embark on a Congress year1 in which collective action will be at the heart of our considerations. Collective action is working together to find solutions and restoring meaning to our work. It’s sharing a feeling of responsibility. The strength of this solidarity helps lighten our load. When we get involved in our union, we gain the power to act locally. We also become stakeholders in an organization that acts globally to change the face of our society, making it more just and equal.

We proved it again this past year. I think particularly of CPE negotiations; improvements in the Québec Pension Plan, which we demanded and received; and our continued mobilization for a $15 minimum wage. Our next challenge will be to convince employers and the government to do more as well.

Let’s face it, our difficult working conditions are in large part the result of the liberal government’s austerity measures over the last three years. 2018 is an election year and it’s not because we aren’t currently in negotiations that we will stop defending issues that are important to us. We need to remind politicians who aspire to lead Québec that they shoulder heavy responsibilities and duties towards public sector workers.For the coming year, I wish us all employers who acknowledge the expertise and professional autonomy of public sector workers, and who provide us with the means for healthier work environments. The privatization of public services needs to stop immediately and we need to remember that investing in public services benefits the entire population. Here’s hoping this message finds its way.

1 The CSQ’s 42nd  Congress will be held June 26 to 29, 2018.

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