The Union of Government Professionals, one of Quebec's public service unions, has accused Education Minister Michelle Courchesne of wasting money by having exams corrected by private companies.

Union president Gilles Dussault says Courchesne no longer wants to hire 150 part-time exam correctors who work an average of 50 days a year, and has instead called for private companies to bid on the work.

According to Dussault, the request for bids shows the government would pay much more than it does now.

"We have estimated it could cost over $1-million -- it would be $1-million more expensive on a three-year basis," he said.

The union's complaint comes as public sector workers continue contract talks with the government.

"There's no new money for salaries but there's a lot of money for the private sector and we have an example here," said Dussault.

Finance Minister Raymond Bachand is preparing to unveil the provincial budget sometime in the spring.