Dear Colleagues and QPAT Members,
I hope that you enjoyed a relaxing vacation and that you have returned to work full of energy for the launch into the new school year. The QPAT team is preparing with enthusiasm and commitment to take on the coming year which, we believe, will be something of a roller coaster.
On the eve of provincial elections, we want you to know that a campaign will begin early in September in conjunction with our colleagues in the FSE. The PEP campaign (PUBLIC EDUCATION, our PRIORITY) aims to mobilize the population and various key figures in education by challenging all the political parties to make education their priority. We believe that setting education as a priority should be seen as an investment. It is high time that our political representatives truly commit themselves to the improvement of our public school system and reinvest massively in student services as well as in support for teachers. Car window stickers will be sent to your school to inform the public of our position. Furthermore, an online petition will be forwarded to you electronically. A series of electoral posters will also be posted everywhere in Quebec to publicize our campaign.
QPAT has the pleasure welcoming Anne-Marie Rheubottom as she joins our professional staff this year. Anne-Marie brings her expertise in the domain of organizing services for students with special needs, as well as her extensive knowledge of pedagogical issues. Her presence will enable QPAT to further develop dossiers related to the professional side of teaching, central to the daily reality of teachers. If we wish to bring our pedagogical expertise to bear on ministerial orientations and on those of school boards, we must become more involved in these issues.
QPAT continues as always to support our local unions on a daily basis at all levels, helping them to represent you effectively at the local level. We will also be engaged in specific issues related to working conditions, especially workplace conflicts, at a joint training session to be held in October. One of the objectives of this process is to contribute to a more long-term and effective improvement in the work environment. In addition, we will continue to work on issues related to violence in the workplace. On this issue, it’s worth noting that our research enabled us to participate successfully with colleagues from other provinces in a panel discussion on violence held in Edmonton last July at a CTF forum on public education. We received Canada-wide media coverage on this issue which impacts increasingly on teachers in all Canadian provinces.
At the provincial level, as indicated in previous communications, we will begin pre-consultations concerning the negotiation of our next collective agreement in coordination with our partners of the FSE/CSQ. You will be informed about the process in the coming months.
As for our annual convention, we will be proud to send you a detailed program very shortly, produced through the efforts of our teacher committee, which is going to interest you and respond to your various needs in professional development. We hope to see you in large numbers at the convention which, for the second year in a row, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Montreal.
Finally, I wish all of you an excellent beginning to the school year 2018-2019.