Montreal, September 21, 2023 - The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is extremely concerned over the status of the current negotiations of collective agreements in the education sector.
More specifically, QESBA is very alarmed that on Friday September 15th, the government deposited a list of demands to the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) and the Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE) on behalf of employers at the level of the Table prioritaire équipe classe.
Negotiation of collective agreements in Quebec’s education sector are governed by the Act respecting the process of negotiation of the collective agreements in the public and parapublic sectors (Bill 37). The Table prioritaire équipe classe is a negotiation table that is a creation of the Treasury Board and does not exist in Bill 37. This newly created table has no representation from English school boards or French service centres, therefore, is extremely limited in its capacity to represent employers and to negotiate around complex problems facing the education system.
“We learned that the list of demands deposited on Friday was related to matters that fall under the jurisdiction of English school boards and French school service centres to negotiate with their local unions,” said QESBA President Dan Lamoureux.
“Local school boards have the experience and the expertise to manage local subjects of negotiation. Furthermore, the negotiation process for our employees is an essential element in the constitutional rights of the English-speaking community to manage and control our education system. The government of Québec must refrain from this unacceptable centralization of the negotiation process and leave local subjects to be negotiated at the local level where, by law, they belong,” concluded the president.
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in over 300 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.