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Quebec teachers won't call a strike just yet: union

Backed by a mandate for an indefinite general strike overwhelmingly approved by its members, the independent teachers federation (FAE) has decided to give negotiations one last chance. It will not go on strike just yet.

It intends to exercise its strike mandate "at the appropriate time" but has not yet set a date.

One of the union's governing bodies met all day on Thursday to take stock of strike votes in its nine unions and decide on the next steps.

Parents can relax for now, as the FAE has not yet set a date for its possible strike. But it will do so if there is no significant progress at the negotiating tables, it warns.

Negotiations to renew collective agreements with the Quebec government have been ongoing for months. Union demands were tabled last fall, and Quebec tabled its offers in December.

Earlier this week, treasury board president Sonia LeBel asked public-sector union organizations to scale back their demands, which she herself is preparing to do.

The demands relate to working conditions—not wages or pensions—in sectors such as education or health.

The FAE believes it has already reduced its demands enough in order to reach an agreement with Quebec.

Through its nine elementary and secondary teacher unions, the FAE represents 65,500 members.

Its unions are the Alliance des professeurs de Montréal, the Syndicat de l'enseignement de l'Ouest de Montréal, the Syndicat de l'enseignement de la Pointe-de-l'île, the Laval region, the Basses-Laurentides, the Seigneuries, the Outaouais, the Haute-Yamaska and the Quebec City region.

 The strike mandate sought from members is for an unlimited general strike.

"The members have no intention of taking an intermediate step, such as isolated or grouped strike days," explained FAE President Mélanie Hubert.

Some FAE members have already begun to use pressure tactics, such as boycotting meetings with management, boycotting training sessions or refusing to organize certain extracurricular activities.

-This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 28, 2023. Top Stories

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