Quebec education landscape is set to shift as the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), representing 40% of the province’s teachers. They announced an agreement in principle with the government. This development comes after a month-long strike that affected 800 schools and left 368,000 students at home.
The FAE, known for its assertive stance, initiated an unlimited strike on November 23, demanding improved conditions. The union’s negotiating committee spent a day evaluating the tentative deal presented by the government, with union delegates voting to end the strike. Mélanie Hubert, FAE’s president, emphasized the importance of teachers expressing their views on whether they feel heard by the government of François Legault.
The details of the agreement remain undisclosed, but it encompasses salaries and working conditions for approximately 66,000 union members. Treasury Board Chair Sonia LeBel and Education Minister Bernard Drainville confirmed the coverage of these crucial aspects. The FAE plans to present the deal to its 66,500 members during general assemblies after the holiday break.
In a separate development, the government announced tentative salary agreements with an alliance of unions, excluding the FAE, representing 420,000 public sector employees, including Quebec teachers and healthcare workers. Notably, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, a nurses union with about 80,000 members, remains a significant labor group without a finalized agreement, stating that negotiations are still ongoing.
As Quebec prepares for the return of hundreds of thousands of students to school, the agreements reached between the government and various unions mark a significant development in the ongoing labor negotiations within the province’s public sector. The details of these agreements, once revealed, will shed light on the terms that led to the resolution of the strikes and their potential implications for the affected workers and the education system.