MONTREAL, Feb. 23, 2023 /CNW/ – While the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) and other union organizations are waiting patiently to start serious and meaningful discussions at the negotiation tables, the government proposals made via the forums appears to be more of a public relations’ stunt than a genuine attempt to discuss real solutions in addressing the numerous challenges facing our public education system. Furthermore, this piecemeal proposal is done outside the legal framework of negotiations and does not respond to the priorities expressed by Quebec teachers through the demands deposited last fall. QPAT is denouncing this attempt by the government to circumvent the legal process of negotiation (Bill 37) while bypassing its own negotiations agents. QPAT reiterates its openness to discussing any serious government proposals if they are presented and discussed at the only legitimate table: the negotiation table.
While QPAT believes that the proposed implementation of “classroom assistants” is a solution worth considering as a possible way of alleviating some pressure off the shoulders of teachers in our elementary schools, it is certainly not addressing many of the numerous challenges experienced within our public education system. For many years, teachers have been the ones holding it together despite the increasingly difficult conditions in which they practice their profession. QPAT carefully consulted its members in the spring of 2022 to identify their priorities. The government must show openness, through its negotiators at the table, to discuss real solutions in responding to teachers’ priorities and truly addressing issues, such as the attraction and retention of teachers, classroom composition, teachers’ workload and working conditions, professional autonomy, resources to support our students with special needs, as well as the solutions in the adult education and vocational training sectors. The forums and the suggested accelerated negotiation process are not the solution to discuss such complex issues.
“In the last round of negotiations, teachers had agreed to put a lot of their priorities on hold due to the pandemic. If the government is serious about improving students’ learning conditions, then let’s sit down at the negotiating table to discuss how to truly improve the working conditions of teachers. The QPAT negotiating team knows the priorities in the English education sector. It is not at a forum on education that those priorities will be addressed.”
The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers protects the individual rights and works towards the collective good of all teachers across the province. QPAT represents 8000 members of both one of the most important professions and of Canada’s oldest union.
SOURCE Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers