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Hundreds of members of the Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE) demonstrated Sunday evening in front of the new Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal, on the occasion of the participation of Sonia LeBel, president of the Treasury Board, on the show Everybody talks about it. In an interview, the latter particularly wanted to be reassuring to be able to reach an agreement with the unions.
To the sound of applause, drums and horns, the president of the FAE, Mélanie Hubert, held a short press briefing around 6:30 p.m. during which she stressed that her members wanted to be present to show [to Sonia LeBel ] that their strike and their convictions [are] serious.
The president of the Autonomous Federation of Education, Mélanie Hubert
On November 23, the 66,500 teacher members of the FAE began an indefinite general strike.
We will be [on strike] as long as it takes to demand better conditions for teachers and for public schools, declared Ms. Hubert. We hope that the message reaches not only the studios, but also Quebec and the negotiation tables.
Quebec and the FAE have been negotiating for months the renewal of the teachers' collective agreement, which expired on March 31.
In an interview earlier Sunday on RDI, Ms. Hubert said that she ruled out the possibility of conciliation in the coming days.
Now is no longer the time for counter-offers. Right now, the time has come to find concrete solutions and listen to the real needs on the ground.
A quote from Mélanie Hubert, president of the FAE
The discussions are evolving, but it is not fast enough for us to hope for a concrete outcome in the coming days, she continued.
Appearing on the show Everybody speaks of it, Sonia LeBel reiterated the government's arguments since the start of the negotiations, asking for more flexibility from the unions. The President of the Treasury Board also said she wanted to find solutions to the labor shortage.
You cannot ask me at the negotiating tables for solutions which seem logical, but which we are not capable of implementing, she explained, giving the example of reducing the number of students per class. If the government accepts this clause, we will not be able to fulfill it, because we lack teachers.
The president of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, was a guest on the show Tout le monde en parole on Sunday evening.
Regarding salary increases, the President of the Treasury Council indicated that she wanted to find a fair and equitable solution for all workers, emphasizing that teachers had already benefited from increases which went up to 15 % during the last negotiation.
Asked what she planned to say to the hundreds of people who demonstrated in front of the Radio-Canada building during her interview, Ms. LeBel concluded by assuring that their concerns [were] well heard and that the two parties will find a way forward. of passage.
As a government, we must ensure that we have happy employees and offer services to the population. We must combine the two.
A quote from Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Board
On the side of the demonstrators, the words of Ms. LeBel asking for more flexibility from the unions were quickly criticized, notably by the president of the FAE.
Our mandates are our members who give them to us. […] When we demand flexibility from unions, she is telling people, you are pawns, we want to place you where we want when we want, lamented Mélanie Hubert.
With information from Élyse Allard