February 15, 2016 4:56 pm
Updated: February 15, 2016 6:53 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Some Lester B. Pearson teachers want to end work-to-rule

WATCH ABOVE: Despite reaching a deal with the government, the Lester B. Pearson School Board teachers union decided to continue its work-to-rule tactic. As Global's Felicia Parrillo reports, one teacher is speaking out, saying that's a mistake.

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POINTE-CLAIRE – Huntley Addie has been a teacher for over 20 years.

When he’s at school, not only does he teach – he coaches, runs a variety show and, for those who need it, he’s even a mentor.

“I happen to lean on getting a lot of satisfaction out of doing extra-curricular activities and doing more,” he said.

“I was a lifeguard when I was a kid – you don’t do lifeguarding for the money.”

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During ongoing negotiations between, the Quebec government and its teachers last year, unions advised their members to enforce work-to-rule – that means no extra-curricular activities.

“I run a variety show here, we had to stop everything,” said Addie.

“All the sports teams, if I was coaching basketball or indoor soccer teams or whatever. We stopped doing comments in report cards, even in elementary schools.”

In January, despite 51 per cent of Pearson Teachers Union members voting in favour of the government’s five year contract, teachers voted to maintain the work-to-rule tactic.

“The majority of the teachers who came to that meeting and voted felt that they would accept the offer, but they still had problems with it – it wasn’t as good as they expected,” said Lester B. Pearson School Board chairperson Suanne Stein Day.

“So, they decided that during the school day they would work-to-rule, which is their right.”

Darren Kotania, chair of the Lester B. Pearson Central Parents Committee said parents were perplexed by the vote.

“Parents generally became confused. There was a bit of a lack of understanding of how we would except one side of it and then carry on in action,” he said.

Kotania said parents continue to support teachers, but would like nothing more than to move forward from this point on.

“I hope that people understand that we’re really lucky to have this job and really lucky to be able to teach,” said Addie.

“I really like my job and, I may be dissatisfied with the contract, but we accepted it. So, it’s time to accept the contract and then pick our other battles.”

In an e-mail to staff, the union urged teachers to end the work-to-rule action.

There is a scheduled vote on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Addie hopes other teachers will also agree to end the tactic, so students and staff can resume normal activities.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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