A collective agreement is a written collective agreement negotiated by collective bargaining for employees by one or more unions with the management of a company (or with an employer organization) that regulates the commercial conditions of workers in the workplace. These include regulating workers` wages, benefits and duties, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the employer, and there are often rules for a dispute resolution process. 2020 becomes a decisive year for class struggle in Quebec. Public sector collective agreements expire on March 31 and negotiations have begun. There is no doubt that the results of the coming decade will have a significant impact. The outcome of the negotiations will either result in additional difficulties for the 550,000 employees of the provincial public service or the cancellation of decades of cuts to the public service workforce. The local provisions of the collective agreement, since the contract is officially called, have no deadline and remain in effect until a new agreement is reached. Local agreements complement their respective national treaties. The union leadership seems to have forgotten the very essence of the common front. Daniel Boyer, president of the FTQ, justified the decision not to unite by the different associations: “We have consulted at different levels, we have come up with different requests, and we do not have exactly the same strategy.” But the principle of the common front is not necessarily to formulate the same requirements or to adopt the same strategy. Above all, it is a matter of not abandoning colleagues to the negotiating table in order to deal with the employer.
The strength of the workers in the confrontation with the boss depends on their figures. Since its founding, the workers` movement has understood that unity is a force, and bosses have understood that their best weapon is division among workers. The best strategy for unions is to work together to improve wages and conditions for all public service employees. The fight should go beyond trade unionism and no agreement should be signed until the demands of all trade unions have been met. By avoiding the tactics of the common front because of the formalities, the leaders of the trade union federations deprive the movement of a powerful tool of struggle and solidarity at a time when it is particularly necessary. Collective agreement between CPNSSS and APTS (2.2M) But is the tactic to blame or how has it been used? It should come as no surprise that you are not able to pound your nails when the hammer is held on your head. If, with each negotiation, a back-to-work law or a simple threat is sufficient to force union leaders to resign, the fight is lost in advance, whether there is a common front or not. These undemocratic laws resemble a sword of Damocles that hangs over all collective bargaining in the public sector.