Between 2009 and 2014, Québec government employees’ position weakened in relation to other Québec employees, but remained stable compared with the private sector for total compensation

Montréal, November 26, 2015 – The salaries of Québec government employees1 in 2015, calculated based on the benchmark jobs studied, are 12.9% lower than those of other Québec employees working in enterprises employing 200 people or more. They are also lower than the salaries of employees in the private sector by 10.0%. With regard to total compensation, which includes salaries, benefits, and hours at work, Québec government employees are behind other Québec employees as a whole by 7.9%. However, they are on a par with their private-sector counterparts. These are among the findings of the report entitled Rémunération des salariés. État et évolution comparés 2015, made public today by the Institut de la statistique.

The Québec government is in a more favourable position for total compensation than for salaries because of a shorter normal workweek and more paid time off (holidays). Thus, Québec government employees have fewer hours at work (obtained by subtracting paid time off from normal working hours). Costs for benefits in the Québec government, at 25.4% of salaries, are lower than those of other Québec employers (27.4%), but higher than those in the private sector (24.3%).

The differentials are calculated on the basis of 76 benchmark jobs representative of the workforce structure of the Québec government and comparable to those in the different segments of the labour market. The jobs used are distributed among five categories: professionals, technicians, office employees, service employees, and manual workers. The benchmark jobs in the technician and office employee categories respectively account for 26% and 37% of the total number of Québec government employees covered by the comparison.

The Québec government’s comparative situation remained stable between 2014 and 2015 in relation to other Québec employees as a whole and to the private sector, both in terms of salaries and total compensation.

However, since 2009, Québec government employees’ comparative situation has weakened in relation to other Québec employees. In fact, the salary gap was wider in 2015 than in 2009, expanding from -8.7% to -12.9% in this period. The same is true for total compensation, as the differential increased from -3.7% in 2009 to -7.9% in 2015. Compared to the private sector, the situation of Québec government employees between 2009 and 2015 also weakened in terms of salaries, but has remained stable regarding total compensation.

Weaker projections for the year 2016 due to inflation

Based on the collective agreements filed with the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and surveys by salary forecasting firms, the Institut predicts that unionized and non-unionized other Québec employees (excluding Québec government employees, whose collective agreements expired on March 31, 2015) will benefit from average salary-scale increases of 2.0% in 2015 and 2016. Unionized employees (excluding those of the Québec government) should see a rate of increase of 2.2% in 2015 and 2.3% in 2016. Non-unionized employees are expected to obtain an increase of 1.8% for both years. According to available inflation forecasts (1.2% in 2015 and 1.8% in 2016), other Québec employees as a whole should see a gain in purchasing power for both years, but it is expected to be greater in 2015 (0.8 percentage points versus 0.2 points).


1. This sector includes the Québec public service and the public education and health and social services networks. Public bodies, for example government corporations, are excluded. They are part of the “government business enterprises” sector.


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  • Nadège Jean
    Coordinator, compensation studies
    Direction des statistiques du travail et de la rémunération
    Phone: 514-876-4384, Ext. 6224