Teachers demand more pay rises

Teachers demand more pay rises

BETTING À DAY

Despite the salary increases recently granted to teachers, their salary is still below the Canadian average, deplores the Independent Federation of Education, which is calling for an 8% salary catch-up to remedy this and indexation annual rate of at least 4% to counter inflation.

The Autonomous Federation of Education announced on Thursday morning the demands of the 60,000 teachers it represents as part of the new round of negotiations that are beginning with the Legault government. . 

Their collective agreement will expire at the end of March 2023. 

“We are aware that these are substantial requests, but in a context of shortage, we must also have salaries accordingly, affirms its president, Mélanie Hubert. We're not asking to be the best paid in Canada, we just want to be able to compare ourselves to the Canadian average, I think that's reasonable.” 

In the current context, the pay check will weigh heavily in the balance, warns Ms. Hubert: “In the past, teachers told us a lot: we want more air in our classes, our working conditions, it's more important . This year, the teachers challenge us a lot on the salary because the cost of living is what it is for everyone. Teachers are no exception.” 

Improve working conditions

To counter the shortage, the FAE is nevertheless calling for more measures to improve “family-work-life balance”, which could help retain teachers in Quebec schools.

“People are very envious of our summer holidays, but we have schedules that are not at all flexible, you have to be there from Monday to Friday. We have to take time off to go to appointments for our children who have difficulties or for our aging parents,” says Ms. Hubert.

Increasing leave for family reasons as well as increasing general flexibility, and in particular working time, the reduction of which is no longer authorized by some employers, could make the difference, she explains.&nbsp ;

The FAE is also calling for more balanced classes, in particular by opening groups adapted to the needs of certain students in difficulty or from an immigrant background. 

Significant gains  

Ms. Hubert acknowledges that teachers made significant gains during the last negotiation, with salary increases of around 15% for teachers at the beginning and end career. 

“But now is not the time to stop,” she says. We must continue to improve the service, we are in the right direction, but we have not yet arrived at the right destination. We want more because public schools and Quebec students deserve better,” she said. 

In an interview with Paul Arcand on Monday, on 98.5 FM, Prime Minister François Legault, for his part, said he wanted “teachers with more seniority in schools that are more difficult”. 

However, the FAE categorically closes the door to questioning the principle of seniority in the school network. “The goal is rather to do tasks that are fair for everyone and to offer services around to help teachers,” says Mélanie Hubert. 

Remuneration of teachers

At the start of their career

  • In Quebec: $53,541 
  • Canadian average: $58,443 

At end of career:

  • In Quebec: $92,027 
  • Canadian average: $95,281 

Source: Federation autonomous teaching (annual salary).

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