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65,000 Quebec teachers to launch indefinite strike Nov. 23


Some 65,000 teachers in Quebec will begin their indefinite general strike on Nov. 23 as their unions decry "suffering" among staff and "incomprehension" in government.

The teachers are part of the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE). They primarily work at French service centres and had given their union executives a strike mandate back in September. The strike date was decided during a union meeting on Thursday.

"Teachers are sending a clear and strong message to the government: the countdown has begun," FAE President Melanie Hubert wrote in a press release, originally published in French.

She says she recognizes the effect the strike will have on parents but that the union has been pushed to its limit.

"The consequences of the government's incomprehension of the suffering of teachers and their desertion will lead to even more devastating consequences for the quality of education in the decades to come," she wrote.


Quebec's latest offer includes a 10.3-per-cent salary increase over five years and a one-time payment of $1,000 to each worker.

The offer also includes more money for workers and shifts the government says are priorities, such as nurses working nights and weekends and teachers' aides in primary schools. Workers who earn less than $52,000 a year would also receive an additional one per cent increase.

Treasury Board president Sonia LeBel said recently that when all those elements are factored in — along with the non-recurring $1,000 payment — the government's offer comes closer to 14.8 per cent over five years.

The offer applies to the FAE and to hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers, whose unions are negotiating at the same time with the province.

But the unions say the government's proposal doesn't cover inflation.

They have countered with a demand for a three-year contract with annual increases tied to the inflation rate: two percentage points above inflation in the first year, or $100 per week, whichever is more beneficial, followed by three points higher in the second and four points higher in the third year.


It's just the latest of a series of strike actions expected through November. Here's a rundown of what's coming up:

A group of unions calling itself the "common front" has opted for a series of single-day strikes, the first of which will start Nov. 6 and involve workers in the education, health and social service sectors.

The four common front unions account for 420,000 public sector employees, including some teachers and school support staff, junior college staff and health and social services workers. However, the latter are subject to essential services rules.

There is expected to be some overlap in schools which employ support workers from the common front and teachers from the FAE.

Meanwhile, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) will be holding a two-day strike on Nov. 8 and 9.

The FIQ represents about 80,000 nurses, auxiliary nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists. 

Service centres affected by the FAE Nov. 23 strike include: 


  • Centre de services scolaire de Montréal
  • Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys
  • Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île
  • Centre de services scolaire de Laval


  • Centre de services scolaire de la Capitale
  • Centre de services scolaire des Premières-Seigneuries


  • Centre de services scolaire des Trois-Lacs
  • Centre de services scolaire du Val-des-Cerfs


  • Centre de services scolaire des Mille-Îles


  • Centre de services scolaire des Portages-de-l'Outaouais
  • Centre de services scolaire des Draveurs
  • Centre de services scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées

-- Published with reporting from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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