October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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School support workers on strike on May 4

School support workers on strike on May 4

(Montreal) Another school strike is underway, this time with 33,000 school support workers joining CSQ.


Leah Levsky
The Canadian Press

These faculty, school secretaries, caretakers, special workers and special education technicians in school daycare services will hold full day talks on May 4th.

They want to increase pressure to bring forward negotiations with employers for the renewal of their collective agreement.

But their strike will have a special feature: there will be no pickets. In other words: school support staff will be absent that day, but students and teachers will be able to go to school, schoolric Pronovost, president of the School Auxiliary Staff Federation, affiliated with the Central Quebec Union, explained in an interview on Friday.

“We shine when we’re not there. Without the school support staff, we want to show that it’s not working,” Mr Pronovost concluded.

“We are saddened that not everyone is attending at once so that this government can realize the importance we have in the school network,” the union leader began.

“Because, the aim is not to delay the academic learning of students living in a particular year. That is why we do not need a picket line. We are not blocking the services of teachers and professionals,” he explained.

Although the strike notices have now been sent to the Francophone school service centers and the relevant Anglophone school boards, Mr Pronovost is expected to reach an agreement with the then employer negotiators. He said he was ready to negotiate in the evenings, nights and weekends if necessary.

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“We had 48 negotiations, which led to little or no progress,” the federal president reported. Although the chairperson of the Treasury Board Sonia assured that the label talks would go well, he assured that the opposite would happen.

“The goal is to avoid a strike on May 4. We hope the light will come on above the negotiating tables,” Pronovost said.

Job insecurity is a major issue in the conflict. Most support workers break schedules, morning, afternoon and evening, or work only a few hours a week, sometimes only 7 to 10 hours a week. Mr Pronovost reported that school service centers would rather resort to subcontracting than hiring staff.