Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Des motivated teachers, even without strike funds

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The Common Front begins a strike on Friday one week. (Archive photo)

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

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Common Front union members begin a week of strike on Friday and the motivation still seems present, even for the members who do not receive any compensation, due to lack of strike fund.

Employees in the education and health sector are once again on strike across the country until next Thursday.

Certain unions affiliated with the Common Front do not have strike funds. During such a strike period, these union members therefore receive, for the most part, neither salary nor strike pay.

This is the case for members of the Mitis Region Education Union (SERM), which notably represents teachers employed at the Monts-et-Marées School Service Center. p>

Questioned by Radio-Canada on this subject, the president of the union, Jean-François Gaumond, indicated that that was not the question, but that x27;it was more about getting better working conditions, before ending the conversation.

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Two members of the SERM, teachers at the Zénon-Soucy school in Matane, were more talkative than their president.

We saw it coming, so we put a little money aside, but it's going to be a little difficult too, says Valérie.

Despite everything, the motivation is still there, according to the teacher.

We have no choice! We are here today as others were there for us yesterday. So, we will be there for ourselves and for others. We don't give up, but we do it for ourselves first, she adds.

For their part, Nathalie and her partner, both on strike, will have to get by without income next week. The family will have to draw on their reserves.

We knew it was coming. But you need what it takes to get services!, she says.

We're going to go all the way!

A quote from Nathalie, teacher at the Zénon-Soucy school in Matane

The president of the Union of Education Workers of Eastern Quebec (STEEQ), which represents both teachers and members of the support staff for the various school service centers in the area, recognizes that walking off the job in these conditions is not easy for its members.

It is a great gift of self to mobilize, to be determined, to be on strike. These are not easy choices to do, but it shows to what extent it is a cry from the heart that we are sending to the government to make significant changes, explains Anne Bernier.

Women represent almost 80% of the members of the Common Front.

The strikers still seem to have the support of the Matanese population.

The parents interviewed after classes Thursday afternoon at the Zénon-Soucy school were unanimous: it is up to the government to make an effort to respond to the demands unions.

Anne Bernier draws the same observation. She cites, for example, donations of coffee or food to workers on strike pickets.

It does our members good because they see that people are there, she adds.

We feel that the population is there, and that's huge too. It helps with the determination and mobilization of all our members.

A quote from Anne Bernier, president of STEEQ

For their part, members of the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS) have a strike fund, but they will still lose the equivalent of 20% of their salary.< /p>

As APTS members are subject to the law which governs the maintenance of essential services, strike periods correspond to 20% to 50% of the working time.

All members must carry out the strike effort, which represents a 20% wage loss. There are people who walk out at 50%, so the 30% difference is compensated by the union, explains Jenny Tardif, national representative of the APTS for Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">She says she is impressed by the energy and willingness of her members to continue the strike to obtain decent pay and working conditions.

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

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