Front Commun unions begin week-long strike

A group of teachers on the picket line in snow suits.
Teachers represented by the WQTA union were on the picket line in Shawville December 8 as part of a week-long strike by a coalition of public-sector unions. Photo by Caleb Nickerson/CHIP 101.9.
Caleb Nickerson - CHIP - PontiacQC | 08-12-2023
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Following the rejection of Wednesday's new offer from the provincial government, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers across Quebec were back on the picket lines today (December 8) for a full week of strikes.

The Front Commun, a coalition of unions representing more than 420,000 public employees in health and education, has already held four days of strikes in November. The group's leaders have called this span of strike days their last warning before initiating an "unlimited general strike", ratcheting up the pressure at the negotiation table significantly.

Lindsay Woodman, a teacher at Pontiac High School and local representative for the WQTA, the union representing teachers in the region's English schools, was stationed in Shawville outside Dr. S.E. McDowell Elementary School. She said that over the course of 12 years as a teacher, she's watched the classroom conditions deteriorate and added that the latest offer from the government was not acceptable.

She added that in the Pontiac specifically the higher salaries in nearby Ontario make hiring and retention of teachers more difficult.

Marsha Prefontaine, a representative with the APTS, the union representing social workers and other health care specialists, also said that the latest offer from the government fell below expectations.

The full interview with Woodman is available below: