Outaouais schools close as rotating teacher, staff strikes hit region
Classes are cancelled and childcare has been called off this morning in schools around the Outaouais as part of rotating strikes involving teachers and support staff across Quebec.
French-language schools that belong to the Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais (CSPO) and Commission scolaire des Draveurs will be closed today, when support staff walk the picket line, and Wednesday when teachers take their turn.
The unions have agreed not to cross each other’s picket lines, which is why classes and childcare is scheduled to be cancelled both days.
Meanwhile, about 8,000 students in the English-language West Québec School Board will also have the day off, as teachers strike Monday. The board’s support staff will be taking to the picket lines on Nov. 4, meaning no classes again.
Quebec’s teachers have been without a contract since April. Teachers’ unions are coordinating strike dates from now until mid-December as contract negotiations with the provincial government continue to stall.
Points of contention include a proposed wage freeze, cuts to pension plans, and an increase to the teacher-student ratio in the province’s classrooms.
The province’s two largest labour federations representing employees in the public health and education sectors also voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate earlier this month.
Tune in to Ottawa Morning on 94.1 FM at 7:40 a.m. to hear from the parent of two young boys who’ll have Monday and Wednesday off, and again at 8:10 a.m. when they’ll speak with a striking teacher outside Philemon Wright High School in Gatineau.