In this section, you will find information on the current Negotiations and Mobilization tools you may wish to use to help support QPAT and your local union during this time, including:

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  • INFO-NEGO newsletters with the latest updates on Negotiations

A message from QPAT President Heidi Yetman (December 2019)

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INFO-NEGO

In this time of crisis, the situation changes very quickly. The negotiation context of three weeks ago no longer exists today. On March 23, the Government decided it absolutely had to settle all the collective agreements before March 29. With the self-isolation measures currently in force, we are hardly in the best situation to respond.

Nevertheless, we have worked with our colleagues from the Cartel (CSQ and FSE) to prepare a counter-proposal that will secure and protect our members’ interests.

Our counter-proposal

1. Salaries

2.2% on April 1, 2020

2.2% on April 1, 2021

2% on March 31, 2022

A clause to protect purchasing power if inflation risesabove 2.2% for each year;
An adjustment mechanism for the 2021 and 2022increases, if the economy recovers quickly (with economic indicators).
2. At the sectorial level: a dedicated budget envelope, to be negotiated until June 30, 2020, or later, depending on the context. The envelopes are guaranteed.
3. Temporary measures for salaried employees working in essential services (health network, childcare and related services).

This counter-proposal was presented to Treasury Board representatives on the evening of March 25. We are currently awaiting a response from the employer. Our goal throughout this process, accelerated by the Government, will be to protect the interests of the members we represent.

Negotiations Have Begun!
February 6 2020

We tabled our sector-based demands on October 18 last, and received the employer’s response on December 17. Below are the main elements of our demands and the corresponding responses from the employer. It is important to note that the employer’s submission is in the form of broad principles that are not always precise. However, we can easily deduce the desired changes.

Our demands The employer’s response
Our demands include a reduction in the number of students per group in kindergarten for 4- and 5-year-olds and in the first year of elementary school. The employer’s response was to question the relevance of a school board average and to increase the number of reasons for non-compliance with maximum student numbers per group. Review (increase) in the number of students per group in secondary cycle one.
For students with special needs, we asked for more special classes, mandatory provision of services for students, limits on the duration of an at-risk student’s status, and consideration of the number of individualized education plans when deciding on the number of students in a group. The employer’s response was to withdraw a priori weighting for the three types of students entitled to it; to state that a teacher must have implemented pedagogical or social intervention strategies before requesting services; and to review the duties and responsibilities of teachers when establishing an individualized education plan, in particular during preparation, implementation and monitoring of the plan.
Regarding the workload, we asked for teaching time to be reduced at preschool and elementary levels. For all teachers, we asked for assigned time to be reduced and work of a personal nature to be increased, and for supervision to be eliminated other than for student reception and movements. The employer’s response was to increase the assigned workload and the number of hours of work at school and to state that the teachers’ workweek is 40 hours. In adult education and vocational training, the workweek will be spread over seven days, daytime and evening. There is also an obligation to be available to meet specific occasional or urgent needs.

The employer’s response was to question the relevance of a school board average and to increase the number of reasons for non-compliance with maximum student numbers per group. Review (increase) in the number of students per group in secondary cycle one.

The employer’s response was to withdraw a priori weighting for the three types of students entitled to it; to state that a teacher must have implemented pedagogical or social intervention strategies before requesting services; and to review the duties and responsibilities of teachers when establishing an individualized education plan, in particular during preparation, implementation and monitoring of the plan.

The employer’s response was to increase the assigned workload and the number of hours of work at school and to state that the teachers’ workweek is 40 hours. In adult education and vocational training, the workweek will be spread over seven days, daytime and evening. There is also an obligation to be available to meet specific occasional or urgent needs.

As you can see, there is an enormous gap between our view of the improvements required and the employer’s view of what would improve our working conditions – since the employer claims that its goal is to improve teachers’ working conditions in order to attract more young people to the profession.

Disappointing and insulting offers from the employer
February 2020

On December 17 last, as part of the 2020 negotiations for renewal of the collective agreements, the Government tabled what would become its sectorial demands. Far from responding to our demands, the Government’s response is an affront to teachers and represents a complete break from its discourse and promises for the education sector.

In response to the union’s proposals, the Government tabled 91 employer demands, many of which would increase the workload. A large percentage of these demands were also in the employer’s offers from the previous round of negotiations, almost as if there had been no change of Government since that time.

The following pages set out the main lines and principal elements from the employer’s demands, which we have compared to our union proposals. Full information is available on our website and from your union representatives.

Group Sizes

Union Proposals 1

Reduce group sizes in kindergarten for 4- and 5-year-olds, in Grade 1 and in special classes.

Employer’s demands 1

Review the relevance of the notion of school board average for all groups of each type of student.
Add grounds for exceeding maximum group numbers, in addition to the four grounds currently provided for in the Agreement.
Review the rules governing group formation in Secondary Cycle One.

FSE-CSQ and QPAT analysis

While we asked for group sizes to be reduced at these crucial levels, the employer has questioned the relevance of group averages and even wants to increase the number of oversized groups by adding to the list of grounds for exceeding maximum group numbers!

The employer went so far as to mention “… the lack of any correlation between the number of students per group and educational success …”.

Special needs students in regular classes

Union Proposals 1

Increase the number of special classes to meet the needs of ALL students for whom this option is deemed best after evaluation.
Simplify the recognition process for special needs students and reduce its duration.
Make it compulsory to obtain services for special needs students.
Limit the possible duration of at-risk status for students in regular classes from elementary grades 2 to 6 in schools that are not located in disadvantaged areas, and consider the number of individualized education plans at every level in a given school when establishing maximum student numbers.

Employer’s demands 1

Remove the a priori weighting for the three types of students concerned and replace it with a service approach based on an analysis of each student’s needs and abilities.
Clarify the fact that the teacher must have implemented pedagogical or social intervention strategies before requesting services.
Review the functions and responsibilities of teachers in the individualized education plan team, especially during preparation, implementation and monitoring of the plan.

FSE-CSQ and QPAT analysis

This will effectively increase the size of classes that include students who currently receive a priori weighting.
This suggests that teachers do not already start out by trying different strategies before requesting services. It is insulting! In addition, it creates a requirement to inform the administration of the remedial measures applied.
Instead of simplifying the process of obtaining services, the employer wants to add requirements and pile additional responsibilities on the teachers’ shoulders!
There is nothing about class composition!

Size of workload, lack of time and autonomy

Union Proposals 1

At the secondary level and in adult education and vocational training, convert one hour of additional workload into work of a personal nature.

At the elementary level, make sure that one hour of teaching per week in Art or Ethics and Religious Culture is performed by a teacher other than the dedicated homeroom teacher, and replace that hour by an hour of work of a personal nature.

At the preschool level, reduce the education and development time by one and a half hours and replace it by one hour of work of a personal nature and half an hour of other educational workload.

Reduce the educational workload of specialist teachers based on the number of groups and number of buildings.

Remove supervision from the workload of teachers other than for arrivals and movements around the school, without changing the duration of the educational workload.

Employer’s demands 1

Include in the general principles:

  • The teacher’s role in the life of the school, to develop more of a culture of collaboration;
  • The teacher’s responsibility to use appropriate methods of providing the quality education that students are entitled to expect.

Strengthen the requirement for teachers to undergo professional development throughout their career and to commit to a development plan.

Stipulate that continuous professional development must, among other things, take into account the needs of the students and optimal use of digital technology.

Provide that teachers must transfer the content of their learning (from professional development) to their professional practice.

Ensure a fairer distribution of tasks and optimal use of teachers.

Relax the rules governing the assignment of teachers throughout the year.

Provide that teachers must be available to meet specific, occasional and urgent needs.

Provide that teachers must play an active role in implementing the commitment-to-success plan and the educational project.

Provide that teachers must update their approaches based on best pedagogical practices.

Introduce a responsibility for teachers to adjust their teaching approach to the needs and abilities of the individual students entrusted to their care.

Add the requirement to use digital tools for learning and for certain pedagogical and administrative responsibilities.

Increase the number of hours of presence at school and, as a result, the weekly timetable.

Establish that the teacher’s work extends beyond the time during which he or she is present at school.
Increase the assigned workload and daily span.

In vocational training and adult education
Organize, supervise and take part in student activities.

Play an active role in the centre’s promotional activities.

Provide for the possibility of spreading the workload over a full year.

FSE-CSQ and QPAT analysis

This is a long series of elements, almost all of which focus on increasing the workload, adding responsibilities and obligations and reducing teachers’ autonomy. There are no assistance or support measures, and no reductions of the workload, which is, however, already considerable at this point.

These are coercive measures relating to professional development, suggesting that teachers currently do not take training and are resistant to training.

Despite the political discourse, many of these demands constitute direct and unjustifiable interference with professional autonomy!

The terms used (e.g. “relaxation”, “requirement to be available”, “optimal use”) lead directly or indirectly to a heavier workload.

In vocational training and adult education

These additions would make compulsory elements that are currently voluntary, and would increase the workload.

The employer is demanding that teachers should be available seven days a week throughout the year!

Teachers’ Salaries

Union Proposals 1

Apply an increase of 8% to the salary scale of all teachers.

Significantly increase the compensation payable for oversized groups of students.

Provide for additional remuneration of $40 for completion of a form requested by a case worker/stakeholder outside the school board, where the request is approved by the school or centre administration.

Naturally, obtain the same salary increases as the rest of Québec’s public sector.

Employer’s demands 1

FSE-CSQ and QPAT analysis

The employer has offered absolutely nothing in its sectorial demands, even though this was the best possible opportunity to demonstrate its intention to improve teachers’ salaries.

The Government has not even upheld its election promise to eliminate the first six steps on the salary scale.

This is not how the Government will attract new candidates and keep existing teachers.

Vulnerable status and entry into the profession

Union Proposals 1

Introduce a support mechanism (mentoring), in which participation would be voluntary, by allowing for a reduction of course and lesson time for mentors and new teachers.

In vocational training, allow for time in the additional workload to take courses towards a Bachelor’s degree in vocational training.

Increase the rate for occasional supply teaching.

Remove the maximum paid time by adding a rate for supply teaching periods of more than 270 minutes.

Employer’s demands 1

Introduce a requirement into the Collective Agreement for teachers to take part in the school board’s professional insertion measures.

Provide that the situation for new teachers must be taken into account when assigning tasks.

FSE-CSQ and QPAT analysis

The employer party talks about compulsory participation, not voluntary participation.

There is no workload reduction for mentors and mentorees.

Other employer demands

Recognize the specific, additional expertise of certain teachers.

Relax the current provisions to be able to use remedial teaching resources to the full, in order to meet the needs of students and schools.

Review the provisions applicable to teachers on availability.

Provide for a pre-qualification period for the teachers’ salary insurance plan.

State that a teacher cannot terminate a period of unpaid leave or a progressive retirement contract in order to receive salary insurance benefits.

Include special provisions in the salary insurance plan for teachers who return to work and are receiving a retirement pension from a public retirement plan administered by Retraite Québec.

Cease paying the difference between the income replacement benefit paid by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and the full salary of teachers who have suffered workplace injuries.

What the FSE-CSQ and QPAT thinks of them

Would these be the emeritus teachers mentioned by the Minister?

The employer’s intention is to call employment security into question, including the 50 km rule.

In the full submission, the employer party has included nine demands relating to salary insurance and protection in cases involving workplace injuries. All these demands tend to suggest that someone on the employer’s side thinks teachers are misusing the system!

The FSE-CSQ and QPAT have pointed out that, in their opinion, the Government has exhibited a clear lack of consideration for teachers, and instead of giving them oxygen, it has smothered them even more than last time.

The FSE-CSQ and QPAT cannot believe the Government truly sees these demands as any kind of solution to the problems experienced in schools, or as a response to the needs that teachers have expressed unequivocally over the years. The Government had promised changes to help teachers, and the disappointment is crushing for all those teachers who want true improvements to their working conditions and the problems they face. Teachers have put solutions on the table, but those solutions have not been taken up by the Government. More than ever before, we need to come together to improve our working and teaching conditions. The discussions have only just begun, and this is only the start of a long process, the outcome of which will be determined to a large extent by the involvement of everyone concerned. We will keep you informed of developments at the sectorial table on a regular basis.

1 – The complete demands are available from QPAT-APEQ and union representatives.

On December 17, the Comité patronal de négociation pour les commissions scolaires anglophones (CPNCA) deposited their counter-offer to our QPAT negotiation team.

It is with much disappointment that QPAT received this counter-offer. If the government wants to value the teaching profession, it is not reflected in the CPNCA proposal. As a matter of fact, this proposal is a direct attack on teacher professionalism and an increase in their responsibilities.

Here are some of the key demands:

For all teachers (Youth, Adult Education and Vocational Training):

  • Increase presence time to 35 hours with the understanding that the workweek is a total of 40 hours;
  • Increase assigned time;
  • Include obligatory professional development in the general duties of teachers;
  • Revise the general duties and responsibilities of teachers in the collective agreement (e.g., ensure the participation of teachers in the life of the school, ensure that teachers contribute to the multi-disciplinary team of the school and its mission, etc.);
  • Obligatory mentoring for all new teachers and an obligation for other teachers to become mentors;
  • Revise personnel mobility (50 km rule).

Youth Sector:

  • Revise group formation (possible removal of class size averages, revision of high school cycle one class sizes and additional reasons to justify larger class sizes);
  • Removal of a priori weighting for codes 14, 50 and 53;
  • Increase the average teaching time at the high school level;
  • Teachers need to demonstrate that they incorporate and adapt pedagogical interventions to meet the needs of each student;
  • Revision of Appendix XXIX (a minimum number of remedial teachers and resource teachers);
  • Revise teachers’ roles and increase responsibilities;
  • Obligation for elementary teachers to do remediation for all students in the school.

 

Adult Education:

  • Include the possibility of working at the weekends.

Vocational Training:

  • Include the weekend in a regular workweek (maximum 40 hours);
  • Review hiring conditions for teachers teaching international students;
  • Remove the obligatory 4-week vacation in July.

“I’m so disappointed. The government has decided, once again, to dismiss the teaching profession. Teachers have always put their students as their first priority. When we improve the lives of teachers, we improve the lives of students. This deposit does nothing to improve the working conditions of teachers, nor improve services to students. This is an austerity proposal during a time of government budgetary surplus. We are far away from valuing the teaching profession. It’s shameful.”

Heidi Yetman

President of QPAT

“Every year we slip further and further behind.”
December 13 2019

On December 12, the Legault Government offered the public sector a 7% salary increase over 5 years.

Earlier this week, Statistics Canada published the teachers’ salaries from across Canada for the 2017-2018 school year.

The publication (available here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/81-604-x/2019001/tbl/tblc3.1-fra.htm) shows a 13% gap between teachers’ salaries in Québec and the average for Canada in 2017-2018. Even worse, compared to their colleagues in other provinces, Québec’s teachers will need at least five additional years of service to reach the top of their salary scale.

“This is insufficient. This year, inflation in Quebec has risen to over 2%. Simply to maintain our diminished purchasing power, it will require at least 2% per year. This does not include the countless other years with insignificant salary increases which were much lower than inflation. Every year we slip further and further behind. Why aren’t teachers respected in this province? Our buying power is always decreasing. Very disappointing!”

Heidi Yetman

President of QPAT

Main Elements of the Sectorial Demand

Quebec teachers want to see a tangible and significant improvement in their daily working conditions. So, they want:

  • A classroom composition that provides conditions for quality teaching and learning;
  • Services to students that meet their needs;
  • A humanly bearable task;
  • Recognition of their profession at its true and full value, particularly in terms of remuneration;
  • A reduction in the level of job insecurity and better conditions for professional integration so that the next generation does not leave the profession on a massive scale and the most experienced remain in it.

In order to meet these objectives, the demands have been grouped into five main
and complementary issues.

FEWER STUDENTS IN THE GROUPS

To improve teaching and learning conditions and enable better identification of students’ difficulties, the FSE and QPAT are asking to review the rules for the formation of groups by reducing the ratios as follows:

  • Kindergarten 4 years old: average of 8 students, maximum of 10 students (currently average of 14, maximum of 17);
  • Kindergarten 5 years old: average of 12 students, maximum of 14 students (current average of 17, maximum of 19);
  • 1st year of elementary school: average of 16 students, maximum of 18 students (current average of 20, maximum of 22);
  • Special education: reduce the maximums and averages in special classes with students of various types.
  • Multigrade classes: prohibit multigrade classes in schools with 100 or more students, unless there is an agreement between the school board and the union.
  • Adult education: establish a maximum number of students per group (currently there are none).

CLASS COMPOSITION AND INTEGRATED AT-RISK STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WITH HANDICAPS AND SOCIAL MALADJUSTMENTS OR LEARNING DIFFICULTIES (HDAA)

To ensure better group composition, the FSE and QPAT propose an innovative and targeted approach, based on a reduction in the number of students per class in places where there are more students with difficulties (other than in disadvantaged areas).

For Grades 2 to 6 of elementary school, the proposed measure would reduce the maximum number of students per class for each grade in the same school with more than 20% of students with difficulties. For Secondary 1 to 3, a significant reduction of the average to 25 students per group1 without changing the maximum, would provide the flexibility to open more groups in schools with more students with difficulties.

Teachers also want to:

  • Provide as many special classes as necessary to meet the needs of ALL students for whom this option is considered the best after evaluation;
  • Reduce the time required for the recognition process for at-risk students and students with handicaps and social maladjustments or learning difficulties
    (HDAA);
  • Make it mandatory to obtain services for at-risk students and students with handicaps and social maladjustments or learning difficulties (HDAA) at the teacher’s request.

LIGHTENED TASK

The heavy workload aggravates attraction and retention problems and explains much of the current shortage. In order to ease their workload, teachers are asking to reduce their assigned task to free up time as follows:

  • In secondary schools, adult education and vocational training centres, convert one hour of the complementary task2 into work of a personal nature (WPN);
  • In elementary schools, ensure that one hour of teaching per week in arts or ethics and religious culture (ECR) is provided by another teacher and replace this hour with one hour of WPN;

1 Instead of an average of 26, 27 and 30, respectively in effect for Secondary 1, 2 and 3.
2 A teacher’s workload consists of three categories of tasks. The workload consists of teaching time, makeup classes, support, recess supervision and student activities. The teacher’s complementary task is assigned by the principal and includes time for meetings and consultation with colleagues, time to monitor travel between courses, etc. Work of a personal nature is time set aside for preparation, correction, follow-up with
arents, etc. It is done at the teacher’s choice, but at school.

  • In pre-school education, reduce the time for developmental and cognitive learning activities and stimulation by an hour-and-a-half to make way for specialities, and replace this hour-and-a-half with one hour of WPN and half an hour of another educational task;
  • Reduce the workload of specialist teachers according to the number of groups and the number of buildings in which they teach;
  • In adult education, include 80 hours of pedagogical supervision in the workload and increase the time reserved for pedagogical days to 40 hours.

Elementary school teachers also want their professional skills to be used more effectively in their educational task, particularly by removing supervision, except for the arrival and departure of students.

These demands are adjustments to presence time at school (which remains at 32 hours per week for a teacher with a full workload), but provide the teacher with more autonomy and more useful time for students, as well as for preparation and correction.

REMUNERATION

In the context of a staff shortage, an urgent need to upgrade the teaching profession and a significant gap with other Canadian provinces, the FSE and QPAT are calling for an increase in teachers’ salaries.

Beginning with the 141st workday of 2019-2020, applying an 8% adjustment to the salary scale for all teachers would bring it up to the Canadian average.

This adjustment in salary specific to teachers will complement the salary demands made at the intersectorial level that are applicable to all employees in the public sector.

VULNERABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRATION

In the context of staff shortages and abandonment of the profession, the FSE and QPAT are calling for improvements in the conditions of professional integration for teachers and those of teachers whose status is precarious, who constitute approximately 42% of the teaching staff:

  • Provide a voluntary coaching mechanism (mentoring) by reducing the amount of time spent teaching for mentors and new teachers;
  • Increase the salary for casual substitution;
  • Lift the ceiling of the remunerated maximum by adding a rate for substitutions of more than 270 minutes, or more than three 75-minute periods;
  • In vocational training, allow time in the complementary task to take courses for the Bachelor of Vocational Education degree.
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