The possible strike by state engineers could well result in respite for motorists in the province, while several planned projects could be postponed. However, other major projects such as CHSLDs or schools could also suffer.
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According to the president of the Professional Association of Engineers of the Government of Quebec (APIGQ), the impacts of the unlimited general strike that could be called on April 22 will be limited for the population.
Since the major works have not yet started, motorists are likely to see fewer construction sites, and above all, no construction sites on a forced break.
“It’s the orange cone warehouses that will overflow,” notes Marc-André Martin, indicating that we could see less traffic than in past summers.
Hard to catch up
On the other hand, the work not completed this year would add to an already overflowing schedule.
“We know that our road network is aging faster than we manage to repair it. We won’t be able to catch up,” warns the president of APIGQ, believing that Quebec would be the losers if the negotiations drag on.
“I have the impression that the Treasury Board did not understand what it had chosen to trigger by sending us on strike,” says the engineer.
According to the Department of Transport’s infrastructure project dashboard, 49 projects worth more than $20 million are currently in the planning stage and 35 others are at the construction stage in Quebec.
“A committee of independent experts looked into the programming of the sites and the conclusion is that when you carry over to the following year, it’s money lost,” warns Mr. Martin.
Other risky sites
And since the government has chosen to start several large-scale projects for post-pandemic economic recovery, many of these projects could also be put on hold.
“If these things are not caned, it could cause a delay, even a postponement to another year”, details Marc-André Martin.
On the list of 200 projects, we find in particular the construction of schools, CHSLDs, seniors’ homes and road works. The preparatory work for the Île d’Orléans bridge could also be affected. “There is sand in the gears,” says Mr. Martin.
The negotiations between engineers and the state
- 1800 engineers are employed by the government.
- They are without employment contract since 2020.
- A fifty negotiation meetings took place.
- A notice of unlimited general strike is filed for April 22.
- APIGQ deplores the average pay gap of 34% between the provincial government and other public employers.