150,000 Protest Austerity in Montreal

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Quebec – Workers from a coalition of public sector unions took the streets Saturday in Montreal, in what was a massive demonstration against the Couillard government’s latest contract offers.

Quebec civil servants are asking for salary hikes of 13.5 percent over three years. Treasury Board President Martin Coiteux has instead proposed a salary freeze until 2016, followed by a one-per-cent increase every year until 2019.

The government is also looking to push back the age of retirement to 62, calculate retirement income based on the eight most lucrative years of a worker’s career instead of five, and increase the penalty for early retirement from four to 7.2 percent.

About 550,000 public sector workers, roughly 250,000 in health care, 185,000 in school boards, 80,000 in the civil service and 35,000 in CEGEPs have been without a collective agreement since March 31.

Matt Damours video re-cap.

Read more at Montreal Gazette

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