The Québec government’s comparative situation between 2015 and 2016 remained stable in relation to other Québec employees and those in the private sector, as well as in terms of both salary and total compensation

Montréal, November 30, 2016 – The salaries of Québec government employees1 calculated on the basis of the benchmark jobs studied, are 13.8% lower in 2016 than those of other Québec employees working in enterprises with 200 employees or more. They are also lower than the salaries of employees in the private sector by 10.9%. With regard to total compensation, which includes salaries, benefits and hours at work, Québec government employees are behind Québec employees as a whole by 9.3%, though they are on par with their counterparts in the private sector. These are among the main findings from Rémunération des salariés. État et évolution comparés 2016, a report prepared by the Institut de la statistique du Québec and made public today.

The Québec government is in a more favourable position with regard to total compensation than to salaries on account of a shorter normal workweek and more paid time off (holidays). Thus, Québec government employees spend fewer hours at work (obtained by subtracting paid time off from normal working hours). Costs for benefits in the Québec government, at 25.5% of salary, are lower than those of other Québec employers (28.2%), but equivalent to those in the private sector (24.7%).

The differentials are calculated according to 76 benchmark jobs representative of the Québec government employee structure 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 account for, respectively, 27% and 38%, of the total number of Québec government employees included in the comparison.

The Québec government’s comparative situation remained stable between 2015 and 2016 in relation to other Québec employees as a whole and to the private sector, in terms of both salaries and total compensation.

The findings for 2016 take into account the new collective agreements signed over the past year with the majority of Québec government employees. On April 1, 2016, the employees covered by these agreements received a 1.5% adjustment to their salary structure. Certain groups of employees, mainly those in benchmark jobs in the professionals category, were still in negotiations when this report was produced.

Since 2009, the Québec government’s comparative situation has weakened in relation with other Québec employees and the private sector. The salary gap between Québec government employees and employees in the sectors mentioned above is wider in 2016 than it was in 2009, going from -8.7% to -13.8% and -6.0% to -10.9%. In terms of total compensation, the same holds true for other Québec employees, with the differential going from -3.7% in 2009 to -9.3% in 2016. In comparison with the private sector, however, the Québec government’s situation with regard to total compensation has remained stable.

Weaker projections for 2017 on account of inflation

Based on the collective agreements signed with the ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and surveys conducted by consulting firms, the Institut predicts that Québec employees (unionized or not) will benefit from average salary-scale increases of 2.0% in 2016 and 1.9% in 2017. Unionized employees are expected to gain an average increase of 1.9%, both in 2016 and 2017. Non-unionized employees are expected to gain a similar rate in 2016 and 2017 (2.0% versus 1.9%). According to available inflation forecasts (0.9% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017), Québec employees as a whole should see a gain in purchasing power in both years, though the gain would be higher in 2016 than in 2017 (1.1 points versus 0.1 percentage 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.


  • Nadège Jean
    Coordinator, compensation studies
    Direction des statistiques du travail et de la rémunération
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