Teachers' federation reaches tentative deal with province

The nearly 50,000 teachers represented by the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement are expected to vote on the new collective agreement in the coming weeks.

Other unions have agreed to hold second strike day in 10 days

Sylvain Mallette, president of the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement, says the group has made some progress on the issues of salary and working conditions. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC)

A federation of unions representing nearly 50,000 teachers across Quebec reached an agreement in principle with the province on Friday. 

It will soon be up to teachers with the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE) to vote on the contract offer.

The FAE studied the province's proposal to renew the collective agreement this week.  

In a release Friday, the federation confirmed it had reached an agreement in principle and said it will be presenting the details of the proposal in virtual meetings over the coming weeks. Nine teachers' unions are affiliated with the FAE.

The exact details of the agreement are not yet known. 

According to the federation's president, Sylvain Mallette, the agreement is "a major step forward" and addresses the issues of salaries and working conditions. 

For the government's part, Quebec Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel said she is proud of the agreement. 

"With this agreement, we value and recognize the professionalism of the teachers and we are giving them the means to improve the academic success of their students," LeBel wrote on Twitter. 

"I believe this agreement in principle, which proposes improvements to the working conditions of almost 50,000 teachers and members of the FAE, will allow us to put in place the necessary conditions to reach our goals for the success of the youth in all regions of Quebec," Education Minister Jean-François Roberge added. 

The federation spent all of Friday addressing questions from its members, and is expected to continue doing so over the weekend. 

Meanwhile, for the past several weeks, unions within the FAE have been considering a general strike mandate for their members, which would begin May 31.

On Friday, another federation of teachers' unions, the Fédération des syndicats de l'enseigment released a joint statement with the Quebec provincial teachers association (QPAT), announcing that they plan on holding a second strike action on April 27.

QPAT represents about 8,000 English-language teachers in the province. 

Teachers in Quebec have been without a collective agreement since March of last year.

With files from La Presse Canadienne and Radio-Canada


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