Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Common Front union members take to the streets

From left to right: Alain Richard, vice-president of the regional APTS; Catherine Rioux, member of the local Haute-Gaspésie SIIIEQ team; Billy Lavoie, support staff union of the CISSS de la Gaspésie and Kent Denis, vice-president of the FSSS-CSN of Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine

  • Pierre Chapdelaine de Montvalon (View profile)Pierre Chapdelaine de Montvalon

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Gaspé members of unions affiliated with the Common Front began a three-day strike which began Tuesday in all education, health and social services establishments in the region.

It is therefore the daily lives of thousands of parents and children in Gaspé that will be turned upside down for the next three days.

After a first day of mobilization, at the beginning of November, several gatherings are planned during the day throughout the territory, in Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Matanie and Matapédia. /p>

In Matane, around a hundred teachers and members of school support staff demonstrated in front of the Zénon-Soucy school Tuesday morning.

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Common Front demonstrators in front of the Zénon-Soucy school, in Matane< /p>

According to the special education teacher and union representative of the establishment, Annie Bérubé-Bélizaire, the working conditions of teachers must be improved.

“Class composition is impossible. You cannot have a 100% teacher if you have a group of 20 students with 12 intervention plans and 40 specific measures for each of them,” she maintains.

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Annie Bérubé-Bélizaire, adaptation teacher school and union representative

According to her, the demonstrators are ready to go as far as an indefinite general strike, even if we do not have strike funds.

“It’s all the teachers who are falling. We have a labor shortage, but we don’t have a shortage for nothing. There's no one coming anymore. New teachers are burned out. They get chairs thrown at them, they get hit, they get bitten… It doesn't work. »

We can’t do it; we are out of breath; we are no longer capable.

A quote from Annie Bérubé-Bélizaire, special education teacher and union representative

For her part, Valérie Gauthier, a 4-year-old kindergarten teacher at the Monts-et-Marées School Service Center, is among the strikers to denounce her working conditions.

When the children are in daycare, there are 10 per group, then I have up to 17. I understand that I have a baccalaureate, but I have no more arms, no more legs than the girls at daycare to take care of my little ones, she says.

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Valérie Gauthier, 4-year-old kindergarten teacher at the Monts-et-Marées School Service Center

A hundred teachers and staff members also gathered Tuesday in front of the Gabriel-Le Courtois school in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

We are demonstrating for working conditions which are not very respectable for our profession, says secondary school teacher Nadia Lefebvre.

< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_700/v1/ici-info/1x1/greve-front-commun-saint-anne-des-monts-syndicat-6347.jpeg" media= "(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 1023px)">Open in full screen mode

Protesters in front of the Gabriel-Le Courtois school in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts< /p>

We are in our second strike sequence and at the moment, the negotiations are practically at a standstill, so it is high time that the government understands that it is time to move at the negotiating table, explains Anne Bernier, president of the Eastern Quebec Education Workers Union affiliated with CSQ.

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Anne Bernier is the president of the Union of Education Workers of Eastern Quebec (STEEQ-CSQ).

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">At the Matane hospital, workers are also on rotating strike for three days.

The prospect of an unlimited general strike does not rejoice anyone, confirms Martine, a community worker. No one wants to go on an unlimited general strike, neither us, nor the patients, nor the government, she explains.

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Samuel, a housekeeping worker at the Matane hospital, still hopes that the negotiations will make it possible to avoid an indefinite strike.

Samuel, a housekeeping employee at the Matane hospital, says he is ready to go on an indefinite general strike if necessary. Of course we hope not to fall into the limitless; We will try to get this resolved as quickly as possible, he said.

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The picket line at the Sainte-Anne-des-Monts hospital

In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, around sixty union members gathered Tuesday in front of the city hospital.

At least four different unions, representing nurses, administrative staff and maintenance staff from the health sector were gathered.

All are asking the same thing: an improvement in their working conditions and a salary that respects the increase in the cost of living.

There is not only the salary, but there is also the organization and the workload, says Alain Richard, vice-president of the APTS regional.

These people have been holding the health and social services network at arm's length for years, we saw the importance of these professions during the [pandemic], so we must promote these types of jobs – there and the government's offers are not up to what these people deserve, argues Kent Denis, vice-president of the FSSS-CSN of Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Public service employees took to the streets and want to reach an agreement quickly with the government.

Union members like the CISSS indicate that there is no risk for the population since essential services are maintained. However, there will be slowdowns in some areas.

Certain elective surgeries could be postponed, indicates the spokesperson for the CISSS de la Gaspésie, Lou Landry. “We're talkingroughly speakingabout seven surgeries per day of strike, according to the information we currently have,” he specifies.

Vaccination centers could also slow down during strike days.

Other gatherings took place Tuesday morning in front of other hospitals in Gaspésie, notably in Maria and Gaspé, as well as at the CLSCs in Matapédia and Caplan.

A conciliator was appointed Monday to facilitate exchanges between the government and the Common Front.

With the collaboration by Jean-François Deschênes.

  • Pierre Chapdelaine de Montvalon (View profile)Pierre Chapdelaine de MontvalonFollow

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