Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Feverness and uncertainties on the eve of the start of the school year | Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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Quebec students will return to class on Tuesday. (Archive photo)

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Quebec teachers are returning to work, in some cases after more than a month of walkouts. The union members returned to schools on Monday, when an educational day was planned on the calendar. The students will be back in class on Tuesday.

The winter return to school has a special character this year, in that the fall term classes ended while 40% of teachers, represented by the FAE, were on strike, and the others, defended by the FSE-CSQ, threatened to trigger an unlimited general strike in the short term.

However, agreements in principle were reached during the holidays. Although they have not yet been endorsed by the members, they notably convinced the FAE, on an indefinite general strike since November 23, to put an end to it.

Classes will therefore be able to resume as planned in all primary and secondary schools in Quebec this week.

To prevent students from doing the Fresh from this labor conflict, the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, has already announced that the ministerial tests will be postponed to the end of January and the beginning of February. A catch-up plan must also be presented on Tuesday.

Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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Fears are high, particularly because the strikes have created inequalities between students. Those affected by the FAE walkout missed about five weeks of class, while those affected by the Common Front strike, of which the FSE-CSQ is a part, only missed about ten days.< /p>

A month of school is a lot, especially for the most vulnerable students, those who have difficulties, who are behind in school #x27;learning, believes Line Laplante, remedial teacher and Holder of the Research Chair on Fundamental Learning in Literacy at UQAM.

These students, when they are not at school for a certain period of time, they lose learning much more than all students in general, so there will really be a particular challenge for these young people. , she pleaded Monday afternoon in an interview with ICI RDI.

Questioned on the same subject, the president of the Montreal Association of School Directors (AMDES), Kathleen Legault, declared for her part that she would have preferred that Minister Drainville's catch-up plan be ready for the educational day on Monday.

Not having the details of this plan leads to a lot of questions, and the directions of The schools receiving staff this morning do not have the answers, she lamented, evoking a mixture of excitement […] of worry and uncertainty on the eve of the back to school on Tuesday.

We may not be able to catch up on all the delays as soon as the end of the year. So we can't wait to see what the minister will tell us tomorrow.

A quote from Kathleen Legault, president of AMDES

The consequences of strikes will be unequal from one region to another, […] but also from one school to another, also argued Ms. Legault, according to whom each establishment should be able to have its own plan.

Same story at the Association québécoise du personnel de personnel d'école ( AQPDE). We don't want wall-to-wall measures: we really want it to be adapted to each environment, in our schools, in our centers, argued its president, Carl Ouellet.

At a press conference to present the priorities of the CSQ in 2024, Monday morning, the president of the central, Éric Gingras, estimated for his part that it was possible to make adjustments to the school calendar without having to cut the spring break or to extend classes into June.

Like the school managements, Mr. Gingras asked the Minister of Drainville to show flexibility in developing his catch-up plan, the situation being different from school to school. other.

The fact that the document had not yet been made public did not seem to bother him too much, however. We saw it with COVID and at other times, these plans always arrive at the last minute, he stressed. So it's a film we've already starred in.

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During a press conference at On the occasion of the start of the January school year, Monday in Montreal, Mr. Gingras recalled that during the school year, days are always planned for snow storms, ice storms and other imponderables.

The school calendar in 2024 could nevertheless be disrupted again if union members reject the agreements in principle reached by their representatives during the holidays.

The federations affiliated with the Common Front, which obtained increases of 17.4% over five years from the government, will vote from January 15 to February 19, while the FAE, which represents Montreal teachers in particular, simply announced that Assemblies will be held after the holiday break.

We hope that things go well, but […] we are not not at all certain of the outcome, admitted Kathleen Legault on Monday. The expectations of the people who spent 22 days outside […] are very high, and if they are not satisfied with the agreement, they will not hesitate to vote against it, a- she warned.

With information from Colin Côté-Paulette

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