The Front commun and the FIQ on strike in Châteauguay
Around 4,000 members of the Front commun and the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) demonstrated on 23 November in front of the Anna-Laberge hospital and the Louis-Philippe-Paré high school in Châteauguay as part of their ongoing pressure tactics.
Translation Amanda Bennett
A number of school and health workers expressed their dissatisfaction with their working conditions and the lack of resources and services.
The strikers began the morning by forming two human chains, one on each side of the two institutions on Boulevard Brisebois.
Workers from the two unions then marched through the area.
Members of the Front commun
Richard Talbot, a physical education teacher at Louis-Philippe Paré secondary school, wants better conditions to reduce the workload he is currently experiencing.
Over the years, the workload for teachers has increased,” he said. “We have students with special needs who are integrated into large classes from secondary 3 to 5. We also work outside the classroom.”
“We would like to have fewer pupils in classes,” he added.
The same goes for Julie Bellefleur, Julie Arguin, Anie Jodoin Lacote and Any-Kim Martineau, teachers at Saint-Eugène elementary school in Beauharnois, who would like to have a better working environment to help their pupils in difficulty, but also to promote the profession.
“We would like to have more services to help children who have more difficulties,” they said. “We have intervention plans and student assessments. Above all, we need staff.”
“With the current working conditions and salaries, it’s not attractive to attract staff. We have an overload of tasks,” they admitted.
For Mathieu Schinck, a nurse at the Anna-Laberge hospital, his working conditions do not allow him to see his family as much as he would like.
“With the [mandatory overtime], it’s difficult to see my family as I’d like,” he said. “I am exhausted. My salary isn’t a priority compared to that.”
The same goes for Essebon Monique, a mother and nurse at the Desjardins health centre in Châteauguay, next to the hospital.
“It’s the family that comes first,” she said. “With mandatory overtime, I can work two weekends out of three. With my job, I can only see my children at weekends because they’re at school during the week.”