Quebec teachers unions call off April 27 strike action

Teachers demonstrate outside a school during a morning walk-out in Longueuil, Que. on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Teachers are striking to express dissatisfaction with negotiations with the Quebec government that have gone on for more than a year. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A strike action planned for April 27, in which 73,000 Quebec teachers were expected to take part, has been called off.

The strike was scheduled to take place from 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. and would have been be the second strike day this month involving teachers who work for 58 school service centres and English-language school boards.

Read more: Quebec man arrested after teacher on picket line struck by car

Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT), a union representing teachers in English public schools, cited a breakthrough at the negotiating table for the cancellation.

She credited teachers for helping accelerate negotiations through their early morning strike on April 14., that began just after midnight and lasted until 9:30 a.m.

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“With your help this afternoon, the FSE (Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement) and QPAT have decided to present to you a sectorial proposal,” Yetman said in a video posted to YouTube on Friday.

She clarified that the proposal was not an agreement in principle, noting that it was up to union members to decide.

“In the days ahead you will be invited to general assemblies to review and to vote for or against the proposal,” she said. “You will decide if this is an agreement in principle.”

The teachers have been without a contract since March 2020.

Read more: Looming Quebec strike pits parents against school boards

They are calling for better working conditions that would improve their day to day lives, including lighter workloads, better class composition, added services and better salaries.

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FSE-CSQ President Josée Scalabrini said in a statement earlier this month it was about moving towards an “agreement that would attract teachers to our profession, but also retain them.”

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