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Info-Nego 2020

Stalemate

As we have already said, the promise of quick negotiations with the employer’s representatives revealed instead that the employer was merely circling the issue with no political mandate from the Government.

A small ray of hope emerged on October 23 last, when the Government’s negotiators announced that they were submitting a new offer. Unfortunately, they simply went back to the beginning, resurrecting most of their original proposals from December 17, 2019, without any significant improvements to the May proposals that had already been rejected by the FSE-CSQ and QPAT. The employer has instead simply eliminated, a few, mostly minor elements, and a handful of positive proposals were added, although they were clearly insufficient when compared to the promises made by the party in power.

Teachers were not even invited to the so-called “blitz” announced by the Government at the beginning of November. The discussions did not speed up, and no notable progress was made. Despite its rhetoric, the Government has obviously not placed the urgent problems of teachers at the top of its priority list.

The FSE-CSQ and QPAT are working on their basic demands, as refocused in June, in order to reach a satisfactory agreement that will result in real and significant improvements to the salaries and working conditions of teachers in schools and centres.

The biggest problem in the discussions is that, so far, the Government’s representatives have shown no significant openness to the main – and valid – expectations of teachers, even though the needs are increasingly obvious. Both the FSE-CSQ and QPAT are dissatisfied with the lack of results so far. Clearly, there is no political mandate and the talks have struck a dead-end on the issues of fundamental importance for teachers, namely the heavy workload, unbalanced class composition and lack of services for students in difficulty, the high level of employment insecurity, and salaries, which are the lowest in Canada for teachers.

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