KIRKLAND, QC, Dec. 16, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) considers the government offers for negotiations a plan to undermine teachers and student learning. The insulting offers made over the last two days clearly show that the government does not value the role of teachers or the importance of public education.
"The government's offer is an attack on teachers and their ability to help their students," said Richard Goldfinch, President of QPAT. "Quebec teachers have been the lowest paid in Canada for some time and a salary freeze for the first two years with only 1% increases for the next three means that we will continue to lose buying power to inflation."
QPAT is also shocked at the government's attack on pension plans. "Teachers have been responsible, fully paying for their half of the cost of the pension plan so that it is fully funded today. The government failed to do the same for its half for many years and it now wants us to pay for its irresponsibility," continued Goldfinch.
Goldfinch explained that in addition to these attacks on the financial situation of teachers, the government is attacking their integrity as professionals and compromising their ability to do their work. Specifically, classrooms will be seriously harmed by the government's proposals to increase class sizes and to reduce services to special needs students. "There would be more students in classes. These larger classes would also include more special needs students without resources, services or support. The government's proposal is an attack on the public education system and this attack will most deeply affect our most vulnerable students," concluded Goldfinch.
QPAT will plan with its members its course of action during the new year.
The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, founded in 1864, is the federation of teachers in the English public schools in Quebec. It represents 8,000 members.
SOURCE: Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
For further information: Comment: Richard Goldfinch, President, QPAT, Cell: 514-770-1118; Information: Jean-Paul Fossey, Executive Assistant, QPAT, Cell: 514-434-2168