The First Day of Sectorial Negotiations

A message from Heidi Yetman, president of QPAT

January 16, 2020 in Quebec City.

Over my 23-year teaching career things slowly changed.

Slowly over time, I lost my autonomy. There were more and more students with particular needs, more meetings, more committees, and furthermore, I was finding my salary was not keeping up with the cost of living. I was living paycheck to paycheck and finding myself more and more exhausted/stressed/worried. As a local president, I met with hundreds of teachers and they all told me they too are exhausted, stressed and concerned.

What had happened? What is happening with education?

Today we have a major teacher shortage, there are still 200 posts that are unfilled. Minister Roberge declared this week that the teacher shortage will be his biggest challenge in 2020.

Well, Minister Roberge, it’s not with this government deposit that you will overcome your biggest challenge.

It’s not by making teachers work longer hours that you will fix your teacher shortage.

It’s not by increasing teaching time that you will fix the shortage.

It’s not with increasing class sizes that you will fix the shortage.

It’s not with adding more responsibilities and duties to the lives of teachers that you will fix the shortage.

It’s not writing in the collective agreement that teachers are obliged to collaborate, are obliged participate in the life of the school, and are obliged to do professional development that you will value teachers and overcome your challenge.

It’s not by paying teachers the lowest salary in the country that you will overcome your challenge.

It’s not with this “dépot patronal” that you value teachers.

To overcome this challenge Minister Roberge, the solution is simple, listen to the teachers, listen to the those at the negotiating table, they will tell you what you need to do.

In education, things have to change now!”