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:
- a Mobilization banner that you may add to your email signature
- a Mobilization slogan that you may add to your Facebook profile picture
- Social Media slides, explaining our demands
- INFO-NEGO newsletters with the latest updates on Negotiations
A message from QPAT President Heidi Yetman (May 2020)
Social Media Mobilization Profile Picture Slogan
Support the negotiations.
Add the mobilization logo to your profile photo on Facebook:
As part of the current negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreements, you may have heard of the Government’s recent proposal to teachers. In fact, on May 26 last, Treasury Board President Christian Dubé unexpectedly published his offers to public sector workers on his site, and also went on a media blitz to explain the main elements at issue. This is a highly questionable approach for a Government that said it did not want to negotiate in public.
The Government has presented this offer as a draft agreement-in-principle. However, let us be clear: no, this is not what it is. Far from it! Without going into details about the offers in question, the FSE-CSQ and QPAT negotiating teams immediately informed the employer’s negotiators of their considerable disappointment at the proposal’s content, especially with regard to the workload and class composition.
The document is nothing more than a negotiating position statement by the CAQ Government. The Government has even circulated information it knows to be incorrect, for example concerning the salary paid to “master teachers”, concept which seems to be a fixed idea of the government. Although it has proposed to increase their salary by 5%, it has failed to point out that emeritus teacher status can never exceed 50% of the workload of the teachers who receive it. This means the 5% increase applies to half the workload at most, for roughly 400 FTE teachers or approximately 800 teachers in all. In other words, it would represent an increase of 2.5% for some of the most experienced teachers – or at least, this is what has been explained to us at the negotiating table so far.
Despite its insistence that it wants to negotiate, the Government has proposed almost nothing that would improve the everyday lives of teachers. And yet, the urgent needs that existed before the pandemic will not disappear after the pandemic is over – on the contrary. The situation in the classroom will not be improved by what amounts to a public relations operation. What the teachers want is a clear signal in favour of education. And we are working to obtain it.
After publicly asking the public sector’s union organizations to suspend negotiations at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the Government subsequently invited them, in the following days, to take part in a negotiating “blitz” with a view to reaching an agreement by March 31 at the latest.
However, this intensive operation, which included several virtual negotiation meetings over the space of a few days, produced no results and the March 31 ultimatum simply evaporated.
After a few days of wavering in early April, QPAT and the FSE were invited to continue the negotiations at another table, described by the Government as a “table dedicated to educational success”. This table was set up by the Government to discuss the following issues: workload, class composition, special needs students and the teachers’ pay scale (in addition to the general salary increases negotiated at the intersectorial table for the public sector as a whole).
Since our counterparts at the “traditional” table had told us they had no mandate to discuss demands involving costs, we were forced to agree to take part in this “dedicated table”, because it was effectively the only forum through which the Government was willing to discuss our main issues for the negotiations.
The first meeting took place on April 9. The employer’s representatives said they hoped the negotiations could be concluded within the space of a few weeks, with the goal of achieving social peace by the beginning of the new school year in the fall, with due consideration for social, economic and sanitary issues. At the second meeting, they asked us to present our priorities for the negotiations, which would then allow them to inform us of the settlement framework within which we would have to work.
That second meeting was held on April 15, and in accordance with the orientations adopted by the Cartel, we instead made a detailed presentation of our October 18 submission to ensure that the new interlocutors understood and knew of all the concerns, demands and issues raised by our members during the negotiations. In fact, we felt it was essential for our counterparts to be fully aware of the urgent needs of teachers – needs that, far from disappearing, are likely to be even more acute at the beginning of the new school year.
Although the employer party was clearly disappointed that we did not present our priorities, as they had asked, we nevertheless received a call from their spokesperson, announcing that a comprehensive proposal would be forthcoming during the following week. A “comprehensive” proposal usually contains the elements required to guide the parties towards an agreement.
However, other than some rare and altogether too timid openings, this new offering by the employer does not address the legitimate needs and aspirations of teachers.
At a meeting held this week, the Cartel’s political bodies drew up a comprehensive counter-proposal that will be submitted to the employer in the coming days.
It would be premature, at this stage of the talks, to give additional details of the discussions that have taken place at the table without risk of damaging the negotiatingprocess. Please know, however, that the representatives of your respective unions are closely involved in every step of the process, and the Cartel holds frequent virtual meetings.
We will continue to inform you as and when developments occur in this very unusual negotiating context.
In the last few days, the Government has announced that it will be paying different premiums to different groups of workers in the health system. It has therefore focused its negotiating efforts with the groups concerned in the health sector.
At our level, we have had several meetings with employers’ representatives to discuss our sectorial demands. During these talks, we have learned that, for the Treasury Board, demands with monetary implications no longer fall under sectorial authority. In other words, these subjects will have to be discussed at a different table. The situation is similar for our FSE colleagues. We are currently trying to explain to the employers’ representatives that it is vital for us to be able to discuss the problems that are specific to us, and that it is not only the monetary question that should prevail. The students’ learning conditions and our own working conditions deserve attention, even during a pandemic. The situation in schools is likely to be more complex when we eventually return to the classroom.
On Friday, April 3, the Treasury Board President said that, since the premiums and safety measures for front-line workers have been settled, the Government is now prepared to negotiate the working conditions of the remaining public sector workers. We will be doing everything we can to obtain information on the Government’s intentions. Does it truly want to resolve our working conditions, or does it want to take advantage of the current situation to force a settlement? The next few days will provide the answer.
As soon as we are able to obtain relevant information, we will pass it on to you. In the meantime, we hope your personal situation is not too difficult and that you are applying the self-isolation measures.
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.
2.2% on April 1, 2020
2.2% on April 1, 2021
2% on March 31, 2022
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
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.
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!
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).
- 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.
- Include the possibility of working at the weekends.
- 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.”
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.
“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!”
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
- 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.
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.
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.
Document only available in French