Teachers: “Things have to change now”

By Matthew McCully
Teachers: “Things have to  change now”
(Photo : Matthew McCully)

Members of the Appalachian Teachers’ Association (ATA) held demonstrations in Cowansville and Granby Thursday to draw attention to stalled collective agreement negotiations with the government.
Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) President Heidi Yetman, protesting with the local teachers’ union, said if things don’t start moving at the negotiating table, unions will push for a strike mandate in January.
“Nothing is happening,” Yetman said. “In January we will have been at the table for a year.”
According to the QPAT president, On March 13 when everything closed down the government said negotiations should be put on hold and unions agreed.
“Two days later, Legault brought in the central unions and said we’re not taking a break, we have to move ahead,” Yetman said, explaining Legault was likely concerned about the health sector.
“So, we’ve been in negotiations all throughout the pandemic,” Yetman said, with the exception of a short break during the summer.
“Nothing is moving at the sectorial tables where we’re talking about our workload. Nothing is actually happening at the inter-sectorial tables either, where we’re talking about salary.”
Healthcare workers made signed an agreement with the government on Tuesday night.

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