Staff at Quebec’s 22 provincial parks began a general strike as of Saturday morning because of disagreements over wage increases.

The 700 employees of the government agency that manages parks and wildlife reserves (SÉPAQ) have been on strike since 6 a.m. and say they will picket throughout the day.

The workers have been without a contract since the end of last year and make about $14 dollars an hour on average.

The government is offering the workers a four per cent increase over five years while their union is demanding a cost-of-living increase of about two per cent a year.

On its website, the parks network said all the parks are open despite the strike.

Provincial parks on strike

Gaspésie provincial park is one of the 22 sites affected by a general strike. ( Isabelle Larose / Radio-Canada)

The website says all accommodation bookings — including campsites — will be honoured as usual, however, some services may be disrupted, particularly boat rentals and in restaurants.

The strike does not currently affect Quebec’s 16 wildlife reserves.

Union spokesman Éric Lévesque says hunting activities on reserves could potentially be affected by the strike if the government does not improve its offer.

With files from The Canadian Press