Quebec teachers’ union to end strike, sending over 350K students back to the classroom

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Hundreds of thousands of Quebec students will be returning to school after a union representing 40 per cent of teachers in the province said it reached an agreement in principle with the government and that union delegates voted to end a strike launched last month.

The Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) took the most hard line out of all the public sector unions negotiating new contracts with the government when it launched an unlimited strike on Nov. 23, closing about 800 schools and keeping 368,000 students home.

The union said on social media last night that its negotiating committee spent the day analyzing the tentative deal that the province presented Wednesday and will recommend it to its members for approval. 

“The ultimate step is to present it to the 66,500 members of the FAE, who have shown exemplary courage and determination in recent weeks,” said Mélanie Hubert, president of the FAE, in a statement Thursday. “It is up to the teachers to respond to the government of François Legault and to say whether they feel heard.”

Details of the agreement have not been released, and the FAE says it will present the deal to members for a vote during general assemblies after the holiday break.

Treasury Board Chair Sonia LeBel and Education Minister Bernard Drainville confirmed that the deal covered salaries and working conditions for the roughly 66,000 union members. 

Earlier Thursday, the government announced it had reached tentative deals on salaries with an alliance of unions, excluding the FAE, representing 420,000 public sector employees, including teachers and health-care workers.

The only major labour group without any sort of agreement is a nurses union with about 80,000 members, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, which said Thursday that negotiations are ongoing.

WATCH | Quebecers are striking for better workplace wages and conditions: 

Is this the most powerful generation of workers in decades?

25 days ago

Duration 9:04

Canadian workers have been striking and rallying for better workplace wages and conditions throughout 2023. And many non-traditional industries are forming unions. We explore why this generation of workers has more bargaining power compared to the ones before them.

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Quebec teachers’ union to end strike, sending over 350K students back to the classroom

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