Educational and healthcare workers strike Teachers cancel classes October 26

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Teachers and support workers from the Western Quebec School Board and La Commission scolaire des Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais protested the government’s cutbacks to education in front of Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin’s office in Campbell’s Bay, October 26.

Laurent Robillard-Cardinal



Teachers and support workers from the Western Quebec School Board and La Commission scolaire des Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais protested the government’s cutbacks to education in front of Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin’s office in Campbell’s Bay, October 26.

Laurent Robillard-Cardinal

Due to the Common Front strike, the Western Quebec School Board (WQSB) cancelled classes in all their schools and
centres on October 26. On the same day, more than 130,000 Centrale des
syndicats du Québec (CSQ) union members and their Common Front partners participated in a strike in various regions across Québec, including the Outaouais.
On the same day health workers from across
the province protested
governmental cutbacks to healthcare.
This past September, the Western Quebec Teachers’ Association (WQTA) voted 96.7% in favour of the six day strike mandate proposed by the Common Front. This movement includes several unions from across Québec including the CSQ, who are working in close partnership with the Fédération des syndicats de
l’enseignement (FSE) and
the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT). WQTA is a local QPAT branch.
Unless progress is
made at the negotiating tables, more than 400,000 Common Front members will stop working on a rotating basis across all regions in Québec. This is a likely situation because according to the CSQ Union, talks between the employer and workers are stalling.
“One year of negotiations have passed since union demands were tabled and talks with the government – regarding several important issues like salary offers, retirement plans, job insecurity, recourse to the private sector for service delivery, and deterioration of professional autonomy – remain at a stalemate. These additional pressure tactics will allow the CSQ and its Common Front partners to maintain pressure on the government to obtain a negotiated agreement for improved work conditions, protection of our gains, and guaranteed access to public services for the population,”
indicated the CSQ Union by way of a press release.
The sticking points are class sizes, working conditions, and the classification of students with learning difficulties. Teacher’s salaries are also a concern.

Two additional strike days in the school system
The Western Québec Teachers’ Association and the professionals’ union (Syndicate of Montréal-Area Educational and Service Professionals – SMAESP) have officially notified the WQSB that they will exercise their right to strike on November 9 and 10, 2015. As a result, the WQSB has cancelled classes and daycare services in all of its schools and educational centres on both days.