Quebec pay disparities revealed in new report

ISQ survey reveals that the province’s government employees are paid less compared to others

Quebec pay disparities revealed in new report
The ISQ conducts this survey annually.

A recent report from the Institut de la Statistique du Québec (ISQ) found that the total compensation of the province’s government employees has weakened compared to other Quebec employees.

It is nevertheless on par with employees in the private sector, said the ISQ, which was also the case in 2011.

Each year, the ISQ compares salaries and total compensation of Quebec government employees with employees working in businesses with 200+ employees in the province.

The 2020 version of the report, called “Rémunération des salariés – État et évolution comparés”, was released at the end of November.

These calculations take into account salaries, non-wage benefits and hours at work (which amounts to regular working hours minus paid time off).

The main findings of the report show that:

  • The total compensation of Quebec government employees is trailing behind all other employees in Quebec (the difference has increased from 6.1 per cent in 2011 to 9.2 per cent in 2020).
  • Indeed, when only salaries are taken into account, the province’s government employees are behind all other Quebec employees (- 16.5 per cent) and the private sector (-13.3 per cent).
  • Provincial government employees are behind other employees in the public sector by 23.5 per cent in terms of salaries – in terms of compensation, they are behind by 28.3 per cent.

Nevertheless, on a more positive note, due to a shorter work week and increased time off, Quebec government employees are in a more favourable position with regards to total compensation (-9.2 per cent compared to other Quebec employees).

In a statement, Caroline Senneville, vice president of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)*, said:

“We are right in the middle of the negotiation [of collective agreements] and the numbers revealed by ISQ’s annual survey largely show how working conditions in the public sector have deteriorated. It’s clear that this survey reinforces the legitimacy of our demands, and it is time for the government to listen and fulfil its responsibilities.”

Original statement in French here.

*second largest trade union federation in Quebec by membership.