MONTRÉAL, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The support staff at the Eastern Shores School Board, who are members of the Eastern Shores Union Support Staff (ESUSS-CSQ), have joined the ranks of the Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire (FPSS-CSQ), affiliated with the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ).
The ESUUS-CSQ groups together 140 support workers from the 22 English educational institutions in the regions of Gaspésie, the Magdalen Islands and the North Shore. Since 1998, an independent union represented members of the support staff at the English school board.
ESUSS-CSQ president, Lise Babin, says that a significant majority (70%) of the members chose to join the 27,000 members of the FPSS-CSQ.
"Union isolation was increasingly weighing on members. Internally, critics were speaking out about the lack of transparency at the union's executive level. Externally, the support staff at the Eastern Shores School Board felt more and more vulnerable with approaching union negotiations and a government advocating greater austerity," says Lise Babin.
Important ties of solidarity
She goes on to say that after 16 years of independent unionism, the members of the ESUSS-CSQ can surely appreciate the FPSS-CSQ's slogan : Together, united, committed.
"The ties we've just created, and in some cases re-created, with other unionized colleagues are deeply valued. The isolation we've experienced on the union front was accentuated by the fact that our members are geographically spread out over a vast territory, making this renewed solidarity with members of the FPSS-CSQ and the CSQ that much more precious," says the union leader.
Unionism close to its members
She specifies that the union intends on staying close to its members and ensuring services in close proximity to meet their needs.
"The union is not only a matter for the executive council. It concerns everyone, and a healthy union is a union that lives through its members. We therefore intend on developing a strong feeling of solidarity in our members, as well as with all members of the FPSS-CSQ. It will only make us stronger," says Lise Babin.
Priority to negotiations
Furthermore, the ESUSS-CSQ president states that, in the short term, the main concern of the new executive council is to prepare upcoming negotiations.
"We are aware that the coming months will be intense. We therefore intend on being well prepared to defend the interests of our members and represent them well at the next negotiation. We are confident of our success thanks to their support and the support of the thousands of FPSS-CSQ members," concludes Lise Babin.
Unflagging support from the FPSS-CSQ
For his part, FPSS-CSQ president Éric Pronovost, welcomes the support staff of the Eastern Shores School Board and its union representatives to the FPSS-CSQ, and reminds them that they can always count on the unflagging support of the Fédération and the CSQ, as well as on the solidarity of its hundreds of thousands of members.
In addition to Lise Babin at the presidency, the ESUSS-CSQ executive council also includes Joe Dow as vice-president and Lorraine Bobbitt as secretary-treasurer.
The CSQ represents over 200,000 members, 130,000 of whom are in education. It is the largest union organization in education and childcare in Quebec. The CSQ is also present in the health and social services sectors, childcare centres, municipal, leisure, culture, and community services and communications sectors.
La Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire (FPSS-CSQ) is the only federation exclusively representing support staff in schools and centres in Québec. It groups nearly 27,000 members working in the various school boards across Québec.
For further information: Claude Girard, CSQ Communications Advisor, Téléphone: 514 237-4432, Email: [email protected], Twitter: @csq_centrale