Montreal, February 6, 2024 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is, once again, frustrated that Québec’s Treasury Board excluded employers in the last round of teacher negotiations, contradicting previous practice of allowing school boards to negotiate sectorial matters like working conditions.
The Treasury Board’s insistence on conducting negotiations of certain sectorial matters at the Forum équipe classe (later called the Table prioritaire équipe classe) delayed negotiations by months. This was a negotiation table that excluded representatives of the employers. The unions refused to negotiate at this table, citing concerns that it did not comply with Quebec’s law on public negotiations (Bill 37).
“Then on December 5th, Treasury Board removed sectorial representatives from teacher negotiations altogether, with the negotiation team being replaced by three government representatives. This team negotiated the agreement in principle that is currently being voted upon by local teacher unions. It is unconscionable that the employers were not represented at this negotiation table,” said QESBA President Joe Ortona.
“These agreements should have been the culmination of thoughtful dialogue and negotiation between all partners involved. By excluding employer representatives from sectorial negotiations, school boards and QPAT lost this opportunity.
This is, not only, infringing on our rights to manage and control our educational institutions by virtue of Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but the Treasury Board is directly contradicting Bill 37 – its own law and something we will not accept moving forward,” 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.