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Info-Nego 2020

“The Government has a duty to act, and we believe it also has the means to do so. Enough is enough. Things have to change now!”
NOVEMBER 2020

Let’s turn up the volume

This fall, we were promised quick negotiations with Treasury Board representatives, but it has become clear that they are simply going around in circles, with no political mandate from the Government.

A so-called blitz

We were somewhat surprised on October 23, when the Government’s negotiators informed our representatives that they would be submitting a new employer’s offer. However, we were extremely disappointed when we realized they were simply going back to the beginning and resuscitating most of their original proposals from December 17, 2019.

As was the case last June, the so-called “blitz” announced by the Government in early November did not live up to its name, at least as far as the teachers were concerned. Not only did meetings continue at the same pace as before, but they did not produce any substantive progress. 

From a union standpoint, the FSE-CSQ and QPAT are still in the process of presenting their proposals from June 9. The employer has shown no signs of being open to them, and both the FSE-CSQ and QPAT have remained dissatisfied. Clearly, there is no political mandate for the solutions proposed by and for the teachers.

Let’s take action

This is why the FSE-CSQ and QPAT teachers will be taking action, as discussed with you at the union assemblies.

Roughly one-third of the FSE-CSQ and the QPAT local unions have said they are prepared to consider strikes in the short term, to let the employer know they have had enough. Teachers are favorable to the idea of strikes but would prefer strike action to come only after a series of escalating pressure tactics.

Therefore, FSE-CSQ and QPAT teachers will be organizing a series of disruptive actionsincluding Operation Disconnect, Operation Off Duty, Operation I’m Doing Telework on Peddays, Operation Too Many Meetings, and Operation I’m Working from Home! At the same time, the FSE-CSQ and QPAT will organize “commando” type actions to gain local visibility, along with provincial mobilization actions, so that the media and general public can understand the distress and difficulties experienced by teachers before the pandemic, which have been accentuated by the health crisis.

Discussions to come

Mobilization will be put on the agenda for discussion in November, so that the overall relevance of seeking a strike mandate before Christmas can be considered.

Given that the FSE-CSQ and QPAT have reached the mediation stage, and given the employer’s lack of goodwill, a strike mandate at this stage of the talks would be perfectly legal. Teachers will decide if this is the route they wish to take.

The pandemic has highlighted the network’s fragility and the extensive needs of the people who keep it afloat on a daily basis. Staff shortages, increasingly complex and heavy workloads and service shortfalls are taking their toll on teachers. Teachers are overwhelmed and stressed. The growing fatigue and increasingly distress among teachers give us cause to be worried about the future of our profession. Urgent action is needed to turn things around.

The Government has a duty to act, and we believe it also has the means to do so. Enough is enough. Things have to change now!

Heidi Yetman
President of QPAT

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