(Quebec) The strikes will not weaken the government, ensures Philippe Couillard, who invites teachers to think beyond their salaries to the new role they can play in the education system.
Some 34 000 teachers represented by the Autonomous Federation of Teachers held a first day strike Wednesday. For the Prime Minister, this mobilization “has relatively little impact on the way we, we want to solve” the negotiations. The consequences are mostly felt by parents whose life is thereby “disorganized,” he analyzes.
The union demands increase of 13.5% over three years and the government’s offer of a wage freeze for two years followed by three annual increases of 1% are poles apart.
Quebec managed to agree on the fiscal pact in agreement with the “reality of public finances” by giving mayors redefining their role. Mr. Couillard wants to adopt the same “approach” in the education sector.
“The issue of education in Quebec can only struggle in the union prism or in terms of working conditions,” the Prime Minister said. “It’s part of the landscape of education, but there is not that much.”
A dollar invested in collective agreements is not a guarantee of improved service, said Mr. Couillard. The Education Minister, François Blais, must file shortly a bill that will strengthen “the autonomy of the school.”
“We will give them a place, promised Mr. Couillard. What is the role of teachers currently in the regional management of educational institutions? There are not any. What is the role of school leaders? There are not any. The role of parents? There are not any.”
The Minister Blais for his part said that the negotiating context generates “disinformation”. It ensures that there is no question of increasing teachers’ workload or to end specialized classes. “Still, it is an idea circulating is ridiculous,” he says.
On the side of the opposition, the PQ spokesman in Education, Alexandre Cloutier, believes that the minister “adds fuel to the fire”. “How can he look them straight in the eye and Quebecers say it does not affect the work of teachers when he wants to increase the number of students per class and no longer reflect the weighting for struggling students ? “he was asked.
Its leader Pierre Karl Péladeau believes that the mobilization of teachers is “completely legitimate.”
In future Quebec Coalition, the leader François Legault regrets that all school boards where there was walkout were not forced to keep them open care. He did not support the strike of teachers. “No, I think it’s unfortunate for parents and for children, Mr. Legault said. I think the teachers do not help doing that. ”
In contrast, co-spokesperson for Québec Solidaire, Françoise David, has the entire support to the strikers. For her, the government despises all women occupy the majority of the teaching positions. “We are faced sexist government, she believes. It’s as if he said, “Ladies, you are great, you look after many children, the elderly, the sick, the very young … But do it so cheap Basically, c ‘. your vocation. ‘”