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Nurses and teachers' turn to go on strike

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Protesters were visible early Thursday, November 23 in Gatineau.

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Most workers in the public health and education sector are on strike this Thursday. Teachers who are members of the Outaouais Education Union (SEO) and healthcare staff who are members of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Outaouais (SPSO) are joining the walkout movement in Quebec.

The mobilization of Quebec's health and education network is gaining momentum as nurses and teachers in turn go on strike starting Thursday.

Some 66,000 teachers represented by the Autonomous Education Federation (FAE) are starting their indefinite strike this Thursday. In Outaouais, more than 1,800 teachers hit the road Thursday morning aboard around forty buses to take part in the big march for teachers and public schools scheduled for noon in Montreal, leaving from Jarry Park.

The entry into indefinite strike of teachers prolongs the closure of classes started on Tuesday at the start of the walkout of the unions affiliated to the Common Front.

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Members of the Outaouais School Support Union and the Union of Professional School Staff of Outaouais have been on strike since Tuesday.

Mr. Legault does not seem to understand the anger that drives teachers, but also their determination and their desire to be respected and valued. The last time teachers found themselves in the streets, as will be the case on November 23, 2023, was in 1982, recalled Mélanie Hubert, president of the FAE, in a press release.

The 80,000 health professionals represented by the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) take to the streets Thursday and Friday to demand better working conditions.

Union members had already demonstrated on November 8 and 9 without having obtained the expected result.

The government is turning a deaf ear because we have had surveys, we have had consultations with our members who have said loud and clear what they want so that working conditions are improved and the government is doing I don't care about that, explained Karine D'Auteuil, president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Outaouais (SPSO) affiliated with the FIQ in an interview on the show Les matins d'ici, Wednesday.

Enough of disrespecting us and smiling at us full face. It's time to put a decent offer on the table.

A quote from Karine D'Auteuil, president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Outaouais

Faced with this strike which should last two days, delays in certain services such as samples are to be expected, indicates the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Outaouais in a press release.

At local service points as well as the collection center located at 75, boulevard La Gappe, the service offering and opening hours will be affected. During strike days, it is important to plan for abnormal delays before being picked up, or even an early closure of the service. […] We strongly encourage users with non-urgent blood tests to postpone them to a later date, we can read.

The CISSS de l'Outaouais indicates, however, that essential services as well as emergencies and intensive care will not be affected by the strike.

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The president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Outaouais, Karine D'Auteuil (Archive photo)

The union which plans to walk out for two days could extend the strike if no agreement is reached quickly with the government.

More than 95% [of our members] voted in Outaouais [for an indefinite strike], and gave us the mandate [to trigger it] – should the case arise – at the appropriate time, underlined Ms. D'Auteuil .

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