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News :: Labor
Quebec teachers strike against concessions and education cuts
16 Oct 2015
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MONTREAL — After picketing French-language public schools here, in Laval and other regions of Quebec, several thousand striking teachers and students supporting them marched and rallied here Sept. 30. Some 34,000 unionists organized by the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (Autonomous Teachers Federation) held the first of three planned one-day strikes protesting the concession contract and school budget cuts pushed by the Quebec government.

“We’ve had more than 60 negotiating sessions with the government, but they refuse to budge,” Badiâa Sekfali, who teaches French to adults, told the Militant. “They want to freeze our salaries for two years and give only a 1 percent increase each of the following three years.”

“The government subsidizes the private schools by 60 percent and cuts the budget for public education,” said teacher Carole Kucherski at the picket line in front of Ste-Cécile elementary school. “And they are attacking our union contract, increasing hours from 32 to 40 a week without a pay raise.”

The next day parents active in the campaign “I protect my public school” organized human chains around more than 350 French- and English-language schools with 35,000 participating across the province.

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