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François Legault speaks of a “big blow” in education

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Among other “advances” in education, François Legault’s government is delighted with the addition of 4,000 classroom aides in 14,000 classes.

Alex Fontaine

February 18, 2024

  • Quebec

François Legault spoke of a “big move” to improve the working conditions of staff in the education sector. However, these advances will not be made at zero cost, warned the Prime Minister, who wanted to warn Quebecers: the next budget will be “largely in deficit”. However, he clarified that this deficit will not lead to austerity measures, reductions in services or tax increases, but opened the door to postponing the achievement of a balanced budget.

“This choice that we have made to invest massively in public services will have financial consequences,” Mr. Legault warned at a press conference in Montreal on Sunday. He said he accepted this choice since, according to him, “education is the best individual investment, but also the best collective investment.”

At his side, the President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, praised the work of the government and union negotiators who “had the courage to think outside the box.” “We are aware that negotiation does not resolve everything,” she admitted, but she believes she has “achieved a balance which will allow us to improve services to students.”

Among other advances, the government welcomes the addition of 4,000 class aides in 14,000 classes and “the establishment of a new mechanism in terms of class composition to better support teachers struggling with students in difficulty.”

The addition of 5,000 permanent positions will improve the employment status of certain members of the teaching staff and greater autonomy will be granted to them, in particular by allowing them to carry out certain teaching days by teleworking and by allowing overtime paid on a basic basis. voluntary, says the government.

“We are improving the quality of life of teachers and school staff,” according to the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, also on site. “I sincerely believe that this convention can help us attract new talents to the education professions. »

Negotiations continue in health

In health, negotiations are continuing, but in the presence of a conciliator, with the Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ), and the climate is rather tense.

The Quebec government says in particular that it wants to obtain more “flexibility” from nurses, that is to say, to be able to move them between care units, or even establishments, according to needs. The FIQ denounces that these are rather compulsory trips, under penalty of disciplinary sanctions in the event of refusal.

The FIQ represents 80,000 nurses, practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists throughout Quebec.

More details will follow.

With The Canadian Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116