Without us, CEGEPs close their doors!
The Cégep de l'Outaouais Support Staff Union - CSN and the Heritage College Support Staff Association - CSN are starting three consecutive days of strike action across Quebec. They note that, despite the Prime Minister's media statements that he wants to reach an agreement quickly, the employer representatives have not committed to the movement and still do not have the necessary mandates to negotiate real improvements in working conditions and wages.
Since the Prime Minister's announcement on May 2, employer representatives have been very unavailable. After a few promising sessions, they have left the table. To satisfy them, we would have to accept their demands for rollbacks, which would have the effect of increasing the precariousness of staff. In order to attract staff to CEGEPs, we must provide good working conditions for those who have just begun their careers. It is the students' learning conditions that are at stake.
The government must stop looking at only two or three job titles and consider the networks as a whole. If it does not, staffing shortages in CEGEPs will increase and inevitably impact the quality of higher education.
It is deplorable that the government still refuses to act to improve public services. By bringing back once again, and this, for more than a year and a half, the same insufficient offers of 5% salary increases over three years, it shows us that it does not understand the extent of the crisis that is raging in the networks. In our region, no less than 7,000 students are and will be affected by the staff shortage in CEGEPs. To remedy the situation, we must significantly improve the working conditions and wages of public service workers. (Translation)
Alfonso Ibarra Ramirez, (CSN)
Maxime Gagnon-Daniel, CSN - CÉGEP de l’Outaouais
Christine Smyth, CSN - Heritage College