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Teachers vote in favour of strike action

Connor Lalande
Pontiac Oct. 11, 2023

The Western Quebec Teachers Association (WQTA) voted 100 per cent in favour of a proposed strike action during a secret ballot vote by members this past Thursday.
A teachers union, the WQTA represents 500 teachers across 33 different schools and educational centres in the Western Quebec School Board. The WQTA is one of 10 unions that represent teachers in Quebec’s English sector who collectively make up the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers.
“This is an attempt to kickstart negotiations that are currently stalled,” wrote WQTA President Brian Smeltzer in an email to THE EQUITY. “We deposited our demands a year ago. . . there has been no movement in the negotiations.”
The WQTA strike action vote does not suggest a strike is imminent, but rather that a strike could be pursued if negotiations with the provincial government continue to stall.
The union’s demands, published by the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers on October 31 of last year, focus on a number of factors such as the professional autonomy of teachers and the attraction and retention of staff. Class composition and workload are also central concerns of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers.
“The cradle of the teaching profession is situated in the classroom, in the many everyday tasks carried out by teachers. This is the core aspect of the teaching profession. Class composition and workload are the two major components that have a direct impact on the everyday lives of teachers, and it is for this reason that they must be the central focus of the negotiations,” reads the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers Demands document.