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Parents scrambling to make plans for likely Quebec teachers' strike


With teachers in Quebec likely walking off the job this week, parents are looking for ways to keep their children busy during the strike.

Teachers are part of the hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who will be on strike, and parents like Lisa Sangiuliani are making plays for the week.

"I don't work Fridays, so I'm going to take my niece Friday," she said. "My sister-in-law is off Wednesday, so she's going to take him Wednesday. Grandparents, in-laws... I'm sure everyone is in the same boat."

With a PED day set for Friday and three strike days planned, tutors like Christine-Amelie Roberge are answering a lot of calls.

Roberge runs the turtoring service La 2e Classe.

"Since the strike was announced, we have had a lot of parents who have asked us to do more tutoring sessions with their kids, specifically during the next week," she said.

She said parents are concerned about academics and learning and about what to do with their children.

Roberge said now is a good time to review the school year.

"Parents could take some homework or some exams that their kids did in the first two months of the school year, and they could see where the difficulties stand, and we can work around that," she said.

Unions have pushed back against Education Minister Bernard Drainville's suggestion that teachers should provide homework for students while on strike.

The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) will send a message to its teachers that there is no work on strike days.

"There's no work, so there's no preparation," said QPAT president Steven Le Sueur. "No work being sent home for the three days."

Le Sueur said the strike is not just about the teachers.

"To those parents, it's like, please be patient. In the end, we are working for your kids to be more successful," he said.

Sangiuliani said parents are doing what they can to keep a routine for their children and to keep them busy.

"Even one day off, you can see it at home they start to act out," she said.

When it comes to negotiating a deal, it appears Quebec and the unions remain far apart.

Quebec treasury board president Sonia Lebel published a video on social media on Sunday pleading with unions to propose a counter-offer to the one the government proposed.

QPAT said it is not ruling out eventually resorting to an unlimited strike. Top Stories

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