Here's how this week's school strikes will play out in western Quebec

Public sector workers will once again return to the picket lines in the Outaouais this week as widespread labour unrest continues in Quebec. Here's how it might affect you.

Some schools preparing to close indefinitely, some health-care delays expected

A group of people hold French-language signs outdoors on a sunny day.
Members of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l'Outaouais rally during a one-day public sector strike earlier this month. They'll be returning to the picket lines again this week barring a last-minute change. (Mateo Garcia-Tremblay/Radio-Canada)

Public sector workers are once again poised to return to the picket lines in the Outaouais this week as widespread labour unrest continues in Quebec.

Teachers, nurses, health-care workers, junior college professors and other employees say they will all be on strike at various times over the next few days, barring a last-minute deal or other change.

Broadly speaking, they're calling for better pay and working conditions. This week's job action comes on the heels of a one-day strike earlier this month.

There are three different groups of unions to know about, each with different plans:

  1. Employees associated with an umbrella group of unions that's come to be known as the Front commun are looking to walk off the job Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  2. Health-care workers, including school nurses, associated with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) plan to strike Thursday and Friday.
  3. Many teachers affiliated with the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE) are eyeing a strike starting Thursday. It's unclear how long they will be off the job as they have not set an end date.

Here's a look at how some services in the Outaouais could be affected during the labour disruptions.

School service centres and boards

All five school service centres and boards serving the Outaouais will be suspending most activities on Tuesday.

The Portages-de-l'Outaouais, Draveurs and Cœur-des-Vallées service centres say they will be indefinitely suspending classes and daycares starting Tuesday.

The other two, Hauts-Bois-de-l'Outaouais and the Western Québec School Board (WQSB), are only pausing classes, daycare and transportation during the three-day common front strike.

Their teachers are not affiliated with the FAE, so operations should return to normal by Friday. For the WQSB, that means a PD day to end the school week.

Demonstators hold signs at a protest outside Collège de Maisonneuve.
Demonstators hold signs at a public workers' protest outside Collège de Maisonneuve in Montreal Nov. 6. (Jennifer Yoon/CBC)


The CEGEP de l'Outaouais will close during the three-day disruption as most of its employees are with unions belonging to the common front.

A spokesperson told Radio-Canada classes and internships will run as usual on Monday and Friday.

CEGEP Heritage College has not shared any information nor replied to a Radio-Canada request for information. Its employees did walk off the job during the previous strike on Nov. 6.

Health services

In a French-language statement Friday, the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO), western Quebec's health authority, said emergency departments and intensive care units would not be affected by strikes.

However, they would "undoubtedly lead to a slowdown" in some less essential areas of care, CISSSO said.

Parts of the Front commun have members in the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO), western Quebec's health authority.

Members of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l'Outaouais are part of FIQ.

CISSSO added Monday that some services may have to close early and the organization asks people with non-urgent blood tests to postpone them during the strikes.