On the Picket Line

Faculty union calls first strike ever at University of Quebec in Outaouais

By David Lefrancois
March 5, 2018

SAINT-JEROME, Quebec — Some 250 professors at the University of Quebec in Outaouais went out on the first strike action in the faculty union’s 37-year history Jan. 17. The University of Quebec is a system of 10 public universities in the province.

The 10-hour strike occurred in Gatineau and Saint-Jerome, where the main campuses in Quebec are located. Members of the Professors Union have been without a contract since May 1, 2015. The union is demanding wage parity with the system’s other similar-sized universities, more funds for research, equitable working conditions among campuses, and the representation of union members in the committees that decide policy for the university.

“In the last 30 months, professors have tried to come to an understanding with an employer bent on maintaining a kind of immobility, in addition to confusing the issues surrounding the aims pursued by the administration,” Louise Briand, the union president, told the press. “We have repeatedly tried to reason with the employer regarding the importance of offering work conditions that are necessary for the university’s development.”

— David Lefrancois, member of the Professors Union