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UQAR students return to the streets on Monday

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar21,2024

The university and the government are accused of being complicit in the exploitation of women.

UQAR students return to the streets on Monday

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Students also demonstrated on April 28, 2023 by blocking the entrance to the UQAR parking lot.

  • Michel-Félix Tremblay (View profile)Michel-Félix Tremblay

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One year after the adoption by the National Assembly of a motion in favor of remuneration for internships, UQAR students are preparing for a third strike in 12 months to force the government to act.

The almost unanimous vote in favor of a four-day strike next week reflects the fed up of several students who denounce free work in traditionally female fields.

Only 2 of the 231 people present abstained in what was, according to the president of the meeting, the most successful strike meeting friendly and consensual history of the student association.

The students are demanding that the CAQ government, which supported the motion to denounce the non-payment of several student internships in the public sector, now takes action mode.

We want to denounce the government's inaction, mentions Florence Tremblay, involved in the Salaire pour tous les interns de Rimouski collective.

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The social work student is also against the management of her alma mater which, she says, blocks remuneration for internships in her field which is predominantly female. Moreover, the strike resolution adopted Wednesday accuses the university of being complicit in the exploitation of women.

Indeed, internal parameters limit remuneration for internships in certain programs, namely in social work and education.

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Several students displayed the ONE PAY FOR ALL INTERN logo during the assembly.

Salarization of internships is therefore a feminist struggle, Florence Tremblay continues with conviction. She points out that in most predominantly female programs, volunteering is the norm.

While for our colleagues in engineering, especially male, their internships are paid through tax credits paid by the State .

This will therefore be the third strike in less than a year on the same theme.

Far from getting tired, the students we met, like Arielle Boisvert-Hays, who also sits in the student association, consider that they are getting closer to the goal. We still obtained the adoption of a motion. There, we must continue, because from the moment we let go of the pressure, we prove them right, and our hope is there. The population is becoming more and more aware.

Unlike what happened during the week-long strike in March 2023, the management of UQAR this time intends to respect the democratic will of students. Last year, she did not break classes despite the picketing of students.

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Students' demands regarding remuneration for internships are not new. Other events have been held in the past, including here in 2018.

Since last fall, UQAR has softened its strategy. Classes will be lifted following a picket involving a minimum number of students each morning during the strike.

This break from classes allows you to do activities related to wrestling, mentions Olivier Herard, member of the General Student Association of the Rimouski campus. Last year, we didn't have time to do it, because we had to fight against the University. They add that the students felt taken hostage by management.

The pronoun iel, formed from the pronouns he and she, is used in this text to reflect the gender identity of Olivier Herard, at his request.

The strike movement will not affect not just UQAR. Students from Cégep de Rimouski will follow in the footsteps of those from the university on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Quebec, strike votes were held in Sherbrooke, Quebec City and Montreal, in particular.

  • Michel-Félix Tremblay (View profile )Michel-Félix TremblayFollow
Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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