On the Picket Line

15,000 Quebec teachers wage three-day strike

By Beverly Bernardo
May 31, 2021

SEPT-ILES, Quebec — Teachers, joined by staff members and students, picketed in front of the CEGEP school here on Quebec’s North Shore May 13. “An urgent need to act; public services to rebuild,” read the picket sign of one striker. The action was part of a broader May 11-13 strike action by 15,000 CEGEP teachers throughout Quebec. The workers are organized by the National Federation of Quebec Teachers, which is affiliated with the CSN, the National Council of Trade Unions.

CEGEPs are post-secondary, pre-university schools.

The teachers are fighting for a contract after 18 months of fruitless negotiations. Wage increases, improved working conditions, and stronger job security are the central issues.

The 6,500-strong CEGEP support staff workers, also organized by the CSN, are set to strike May 19-21. They’re resisting demands by the Quebec government to impose even worse working conditions and insufficient wage increases.

“Our working conditions are the learning conditions for students,” union president and history teacher Raphael Rousseau told the Militant.