MONTREAL – The Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), an umbrella group representing 34, 000 teachers in Quebec, took to the streets Saturday to denounce budget cuts to Quebec’s public school system.
Thousands of teachers, parents and students gathered at 1:00 p.m at the Place Gennevilliers-Laliberté to put pressure on the government and demand a massive reinvestment in education.
Pascale Gringon, spokesperson for the group “I protect my public school,” said that government wasn’t expecting parents to mobilize and stand up in defense of public education.
“We were in 2015, 100,000 participants making chains in front of the school,” she said. “Now they’re starting to react.”
Grignon mentioned a recent government reinvestment of $20 million in education as proof that the demos are having an impact.
But she said it was very little when considering the $350 million in cuts made at the beginning of 2015.
Protesters marched through the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood with stops along the way in front of dilapidated schools, as well as establishments for children with special needs or children from a disadvantaged background.
The itinerary was planned to draw attention to the issues facing public schools in the province.
While the Common Front of public sector unions reached an agreement in principle with the government before Christmas, the FAE, which represents one-third of all teachers in the province, has yet to reach a deal. Union members have been without a collective agreement since April 2015.
WATCH: Quebec public sector strikes
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