Quebec's English school board teachers' 1st strike day likely in late October

Parents of students enrolled in Quebec’s English public school system won’t have to worry about a teachers’ strike for at least another month.

English public school teachers to meet over the weekend to learn exact dates of pressure tactics

Teachers at a number of Quebec school boards, both French and English, have voted in favour of strike action. (Shutterstock)

Parents of students enrolled in Quebec's English public school system won't have to worry about a teachers' strike for at least another month.

Teachers are expected to find out this weekend when they will be using their first of six non-consecutive strike days — but it'll almost certainly be after the Oct. 19 federal election.

"We're probably looking at Oct. 26 to Oct. 28 at the earliest," said John Donnelly, president of the Pearson Teachers Union.

Over the last two weeks, union members have been voting overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate as a way to send a message to the Quebec government that they are fed up with lagging contract negotiations.

Teachers have been without a collective agreement since the spring.

Donnelly said after Saturday's meeting, teachers of each board will know the exact date they will be on strike.

Parents will get sufficient warning, he added.

"Unions must give seven-days notice, so parents will be aware well in advance."

Teachers who work for French school boards fall under different unions, many of which have voted in favour of two strike days. They'll use their first one on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Main points of contention:

  • Province wants to increase teacher-student ratio.
  • Province wants to eliminate allocated funds toward schools' programs for special-needs children.
  • Province wants to cut 800 resource-teacher and special-education teacher jobs.
  • A salary freeze for two years (teachers are asking for 13.5 per cent over three years).
  • Cuts to employee pension plans.

Vote results:

  • EMSB teachers: 77 per cent
  • LBPSB teachers: 80 per cent
  • Riverside School Board teachers: 86 per cent
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board teachers: 89 per cent
  • New Frontiers School Board teachers: 86 per cent
  • Eastern Townships School Board teachers: 74 per cent
  • John Abbott College: 89 per cent
  • Vanier College: 91 per cent

Upcoming strike vote days:​

  • Dawson College: Sept. 28 - 29


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