73,000 Teachers Across the Province in Solidarity!
Following the general assemblies held by QPAT’s local unions in January resulting in very strong strike mandates, the Treasury Board contacted union organizations to discuss negotiations, which had been stalling for almost a year. This led to the creation of a new table limited to representatives from teachers’ unions. Since then, our negotiators have met at this table numerous times. Following the most recent meeting and after careful analysis, QPAT and the FSE have come to the conclusion that discussions are not moving in the right direction and that it is time to put additional pressure on the government. The negotiations, which have been kept “under wraps” by the government, have mainly focused on the government’s demands. To date, the union’s demands have barely been considered. It is now time to act.
General assemblies were also held by QPAT local unions last October to discuss negotiations and mobilization and to consider various strike action scenarios. Amongst the scenarios presented, the majority of members present at the assemblies expressed support for the traditional full-day strike model as well as for a new model of innovative strike, which is a strike of shorter duration. Similar results were obtained following assemblies held by the FSE’s local unions.
Although the introduction of the innovative strike could lead to teachers being affected differently depending on their schedule for that day, the advantage is that teachers would only have a portion of their salary cut by the employer, not a full day. As was explained during the assemblies, it is always possible that the school boards could decide to lock us out for the entire day, but it would be the employer’s decision to close the schools for the day, not ours. Another advantage is that an innovative strike is quite disruptive for our employer. It will be up to our employer to find ways of working around the short strike.
The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated numerous issues already present in our education system, be it the lack of sufficient and adequate resources, the teachers’ poor working conditions and untenable workloads, as well as the shortage of teachers and school personnel. It is essential that we stay united and send a strong collective message to this government that enough is enough, that teachers play a central role in education and that they deserve to be better supported, respected and valued.
Our first strike action will take place on April 14 and it will be an innovative strike. We will be on strike from midnight until 9:30 a.m. Further information will be transmitted to you in the coming days in preparation for the strike day.
In Education, Things Have To Change Now!