Teachers deserve better… from their union

Teachers deserve better… from their union
Teachers deserve better… from their union

Who would have thought that the strike we led was ultimately not the event that aroused the most indignation among us, FAE teachers?

The FAE is in the headlines again, but this time, to our great discouragement, it is not for better teaching conditions nor better learning conditions, and it is especially not to fulfill a mandate that we have given it. entrusts.

While we went on strike for 5 weeks without pay, when we used food banks for the first time in our lives, when we accepted the explanations provided on the absence of a strike fund, we are outraged by learned this week that the FAE intends to finance the challenge to the Law on State Secularism before the Supreme Court, without even consulting its members. Already $1.2 million spent and more to come. These are colossal sums from our union dues and no one bothers to ask us if we agree with this expense!

Democratic deficiency

If we are shocked, we are unfortunately not surprised by this democratic deficiency within the FAE. Indeed, the FAE is a master in the art of little, no or poor consultation of its members on substantive issues.

As proof, when we learned on December 28 that an agreement in principle had been reached at the sectoral negotiation tables, we learned at the same time that the FAE and its affiliated unions had decided to keep us in ignorance of its content until vote.

We could not learn about the agreement ourselves, because it had to be “explained” to us, otherwise we would not be able to understand it. (So ​​it’s not just the government that can show contempt.) It was absolutely not necessary for the agreement to be shared and disseminated. This would have left too much room for questions, comments and opinions that could not have been reframed or put into context by “the right people”.

In short, if the FAE could not control the debate, it was better that there be no debate. “Always aim higher”, for school, yes; for democracy, we will come back. Ultimately, we will have had unfair treatment: some members will end up receiving said documentation on the evening of the vote, others 3 to 6 days before.

Unacceptable conditions

Then, learning of the unacceptable conditions in which colleagues from the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance had voted in the early hours of the morning, members of the SEO, affiliated with the FAE, requested that the voting formula be modified. They wanted the evening meeting to explain the agreement, but for the vote to be done electronically over the next 24 hours. “Impossible” they were told. “This contravenes labor law,” they were told.

What were their surprise and indignation when they learned, a few days later, that the SEHY colleagues, also affiliated with the FAE, had been able to hold their vote over a period of three days following their meeting!

Wanting to make amends, the FAE is currently conducting a survey on our assessment of the progress of the last negotiation. Of the 205 boxes to check to answer it, not one question concerns the process of dissemination, explanation and voting on the agreement. We conclude that the FAE does not ask questions to which it does not wish to hear the answers.

Union dues

Then, this week, another question on which the FAE does not wish to know our opinion surfaced: do we want our union dues to be used to finance a legal fight in the Supreme Court to contest the use of the notwithstanding clause mentioned in the Law? on the secularism of the State?

Remember that the FAE has already challenged the said law in the Court of Appeal and lost. In his judgment, the judge reminded the FAE that the role of the court is not to “counter populism” or “to be bold”, but to verify the constitutional validity of laws.

If the FAE tries to fight against populism, let it lead by example and stop appropriating our mobilizing force and our funds to legitimize a legal fight to which we do not subscribe. May it itself show boldness by consulting its members regarding their desire to have the derogation clause invalidated in the Supreme Court! A legal and legitimate clause which, let us remember, is the minimum arrangement available to Quebec to exercise its parliamentary sovereignty within a constitution which was imposed on it without its consent.

But hey, imposing one’s will without consent, it seems that is also the credo of the FAE. We deserve better.

We demand that the FAE withdraw from this legal debate until it has properly consulted all of its members on this specific issue.

Marysa Nadeau, teacher member of SEO Claude Tousignant, teacher member of SERL

Michèle Nadeau-Allard, teacher member of the SEBL Maude Boyer, teacher member of the SEOM

Hélène Frankland, teacher member of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance Hela Trabelsi, teacher member of the SEO

Kamal Messaoudene, teacher member of SEO Daniel Turmel, teacher member of SEO

Geneviève Robertson, teacher member of SEO Serge Alfaro, teacher member of SEO

Nathalie Sarazin, teacher member of SEO Carol-Ann Simmons, teacher member of SEO Geneviève Savage, teacher member of SEO Sara Morin, teacher member of SEO

Claudia Cloutier-Provencher, teacher member of the SEO Patricia Duquette, teacher member of the SEO

Cristèle Piché, teacher member of SEO

Huguette Gauvreau Robertson, teacher member of the SEO Janie Houle, teacher member of the SEO

Nadine Beaudry, teacher member of SEO Janique Lachance, teacher member of SEO Christine Dufour, teacher member of SEO Katleen Roberge, teacher member of SEO

Marie-Chantal Gagnon, teacher member of SEO Sarah Lestage, teacher member of SEO

Karim Roy, teacher member of SEO

Julie Bouchard, teacher member of SEO Nicole Beaupré, teacher member of SEO

Marie-Chantale Gervais, teacher member of SEO Romain Vanhooren, teacher member of SEO

Manon Juneau, teacher member of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance Félix Pinel, teacher member of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance

Armand Dubois Ranjbaran, teacher member of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance Daniel Tremblay, teacher member of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance

Catherine Poitras-Quiniou, teacher member of the Alliance of Montreal Teachers Marie-Christine Lavoie, teacher member of the Alliance of Montreal Teachers Jonathan Lépine, teacher member of SEBL

Jean-Nicolas Néron, teacher member of the SEBL Marc-André Dupuis, teacher member of the SEBL Patrick Legault, teacher member of the SEOM

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