Public sector negotiations | A first “short strike” of teachers

(Quebec) After the college network, it is the teachers’ turn to announce a first strike movement in elementary and secondary schools in the province to deplore “the lack of satisfactory results” at the negotiation tables. The strike will be “short-lived”, around a few hours, on the morning of April 14th.

Posted on 1is April 2021 at 8:29 am

Updated at 8:39 a.m.

Fanny Levesque

Despite the filing on Wednesday of a new offer by Quebec, members of the Federation of Teaching Unions (FSE-CSQ) and the Provincial Association of Teachers of Quebec (APEQ-QPAT) from 58 service centers schools across the province will go on strike on April 14.

While the school network is weakened by the impacts of the pandemic, the strike movement will be short-lived, from 12:01 am to 9:30 am, specify the unions. “This approach aims to disrupt school administration, while minimizing the impact on educational services,” they argued, Thursday. In Quebec, Lévis and Gatineau, schools are also closed until April 12.

But the exercise “is called upon to recur more often and to combine or alternate with strikes that can be carried out by other CSQ federations”, it adds.

CSQ members have already voted 73% in favor of a mandate of “the equivalent of five days” of strike action, to be held at the appropriate time. About 10,000 teachers, professional and support staff from the college network held the first day of strike action on March 30.

“It is not with a good heart that we are talking about a strike today. This is because teachers expect significant changes to their working conditions, which are moreover directly linked to the learning conditions of students. However, the little offered after years of underinvestment does not make it possible to achieve this objective, ”indicated the president of the FSE-CSQ, Josée Scalabrini.

“We are always told that now is not the right time to go on strike. Unfortunately, the cup is more than full, the profession is in crisis and significant improvements are needed to attract and retain teachers. […] The government is sprinkling measures without real means, while there is a boost to be given, which has become even more necessary since the pandemic. It will take a much clearer signal from us than the one sent to us, ”she added.

In its new offer to its half a million employees, Quebec proposes to reduce wage increases from 5% to 6% in three years if the expected economic growth is there and inflation exceeds 5%. It adds lump sums representing 1% of the salary in the last year of the next collective agreements.

The President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, unveiled her proposal at a press conference on Wednesday, the day after a meeting with union leaders in Quebec. The central unions, for their part, demonstrated to stress that collective agreements had expired for a year to the day.

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