As you have probably already heard, QPAT deposited our demands for this round of provincial negotiations on October 18. Negotiating alongside the FSE (the Fédération des syndicats de l'enseignement), who represents approximately 65,000 fellow teachers in francophone school boards, our demands are both varied and significant. We have been told by this government that they are putting a focus on education, so we feel the time is ripe to make pressing demands to improve both our working conditions and our salaries.
The demands include many very general concerns (including salary, classroom composition and changes to our workloads) and some very technical concerns (integrating certain appendices into the body of the provincial agreement, for example). To better understand the demands that will directly impact you in the classroom, QPAT has produced a summary document that can be found HERE.
Some of the most significant demands include:
· A significant reduction in class sizes in kindergarten and grade 1.
· An innovative reduction in class sizes in grades 2 through 6, based on the number of identified IEPs at each grade level.
· Remove supervision from the teacher's workload.
· Ask for remuneration for additional tasks that add to the teacher workload.
· Demand a significant contribution from the employer towards health insurance premiums.
· Convert an hour of complementary tasks into one hour of personal work in the secondary, adult and vocational sectors to give teachers more autonomy.
· Reduce the burden on elementary teachers by shifting the equivalent of an hour of teaching to someone else (thus increasing the number of teachers needed without changing the amount of time taught).
· Modification to the kindergarten teachers' workload to allow for specialists.
· Reduce the workload of specialists based on the number of groups taught.
· Establish a maximum number of students in adult education.
· In vocational training, deem the personal work completed as soon as the presentation of courses is completed.
· Increase the remuneration of substitute teachers, and adding a rate when more than 270 minutes are taught.
Going forward, we are expecting a formal response from the management’s representatives in late December. Negotiations will then formally begin in January 2020.
One important thing to keep in mind is that these are our demands: we do not yet know what the management's response will look like. Nevertheless, now is the time to push forward and to demonstrate to our society that the hard work that you do in our classrooms needs to be better recognized, and that the best way to support students is to also support teachers.
As our slogan for this round of negotiations states: Things have to change NOW!
Let the negotiations begin!