Dissatisfaction among teachers is increasing more and more teachers condemn

Dissatisfaction among teachers is increasing: more and more teachers condemn the democratic process of the FAE –

Dissatisfaction among teachers in the Autonomous Education Federation (FAE) is increasing. More and more of them are criticizing the existing democratic process, while the fate of the agreement will in principle be sealed by a single union tomorrow evening.

• Also read: Two other FAE-affiliated unions voted fundamentally against the agreement

• Also read: Catch-up plan: Confusion over compensation for volunteer teachers

So far, members of four FAE-affiliated unions have rejected the agreement in principle, while members of four others have agreed to it instead, sometimes after extremely close local votes and after very long discussions (see details below). ).

Result: While the FAE brings together nine local unions representing 66,500 members, the approximately 3,000 teachers in the Granby region will have the final say when they vote on January 31 on this agreement, which was reached with Quebec at the end of December after More than 20 days strike.

Vote with a calm mind

Therefore, the pressure on the shoulders of these teachers will be very great and they will have to make a decision on the spot at the end of the evening, having just been explained to them the details of the agreement, an approach denounced by many .

“It doesn't make sense. We've reached a point where we're able to do this in two steps, hold an information session and then allow more time for the vote,” said Marisa Thibault, an elementary school teacher in Montreal.

Like other members of the Montreal Teachers' Alliance, this union delegate had to vote just before 2 a.m. on January 19 after more than eight hours of discussions during a virtual general meeting caused much discontent.

Several teachers are following with interest the voting process on the part of certain teachers' unions affiliated to the Common Front, with the vote sometimes taking place the day after an information evening or even over a period of two days after this meeting, which has managed to do so with a clear head Making a decision is argued.

Simultaneous voting

Teachers also demand that simultaneous voting be carried out in order to prevent the first voter from influencing subsequent voters.

When two FAE-affiliated unions brought their members together for a general meeting last Thursday, teachers in Quebec learned that those in Vaudreuil had rejected the agreement before voting themselves a few minutes later.

“There will certainly be an impact if there are late votes. In the age of social networks, we quickly know what's happening elsewhere,” says Sylvain Dancause, a teacher from the Quebec region who signed an open letter with colleagues last week calling for changes in the organizations' unions.

One teacher, one voice

Teachers who have contacted Le Journal in recent days also believe that the agreement should be ratified using a form of proportional representation, so that every vote counts to obtain the required majority.

“Many of us ask the question: Why isn't it one teacher, one voice?” says Simon Landry, a teacher from the Montreal region.

According to the FAE statutes, an agreement must generally be ratified by a double majority, that is, by a majority of the affiliated unions and by a majority of the 66,500 members it represents.

However, the majority of members are counted according to the “mandates” allocated to each member union according to the number of teachers it represents, without taking into account the percentage of votes cast.

So even if 51% of Western Montreal Education Union teachers voted in favor of the agreement, 100% of its assigned mandates will count towards the agreement.

According to the member unions' mandates, the agreement has in principle already received the green light from the majority of members, whereas if the members' judgment were proportionately calculated, it would more likely receive a majority of votes against.

This approach was chosen to “reflect the vote of the smallest unions,” according to a written statement from the Autonomous Education Association.

However, the organization is not closing the door on changes to its bylaws and regulations, which could potentially be “revised” as they “evolve.”

The proposals would then be debated in the various FAE committees and put to a vote, it is said.

“Legitimate” concerns

The concerns expressed by these teachers, expressed in several comments on social networks, are entirely “legitimate”, according to Thomas Collombat, political scientist at the University of Quebec in Outaouais and a specialist in the trade union movement.

He says several trade union organizations have also changed their approach in recent years.

However, Mr. Collombat emphasizes that “no system is perfect” and that trade union democracy operates according to a vision based on the “collective” and not on “the addition of individual voices”.

It is also impossible to “change the rules on the fly,” he adds.

Very close votes

The nine unions affiliated with the Autonomous Education Federation began voting in principle on the agreement on January 17. The final vote is scheduled for tomorrow evening.

Here are the results so far.


Educational Union Pointe-de-l'Île

  • CSS de la Pointe-de-l'Île
  • 5300 members
  • Result : for at 59% (January 17)

Alliance of Montreal Teachers

  • Montreal CSS
  • 14,000 members
  • Result : for at 54% (January 18)

Outaouais Education Union

  • CSS des Portages-de-l'Outaouais, des Draveurs and Cœur-des-Vallées
  • 6600 members
  • Result : for at 58% (22nd of January)

West Montreal Teachers Union

  • CSS Marguerite Bourgeoys
  • 8000 members
  • Result : for at 51% (January 24)


Laval Region Education Union

  • Laval CSS
  • 8000 members
  • Result : against 68% (January 18)

Basses Laurentides Educational Union

  • Thousand Islands CSS
  • 7900 members
  • Result : against 72% (January 24)

Lordships Education Union

  • CSS of Trois-Lacs
  • 900 members
  • Result : against 58% (January 25)

Quebec Region Education Union

  • CSS of the Capital and First Lordships
  • 9000 members
  • Result : against 60% (January 25)


Haute Yamaska ​​Educational Union

  • CSS Val-des-Cerfs
  • 3000 members
  • Annual General Meeting scheduled for tomorrow

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