Ei-iE

Canada: Quebec educators look to boost social equality

published 26 June 2015 updated 3 July 2015

Teachers from all around Quebec are rallying under the theme “Let’s act! Let’s fight back!”, to bring attention to issues of trade union renewal and recent attacks on workers’ rights.

Over 900 educators are participating in the 41th Congress of the Centrale des Syndicats du Quebec (CSQ), an affiliate of Education International (EI), from the 26-29 of June. The delegates are ready to debate current issues affecting education, adopt a new set of priorities, and create a strategy for Quebecois education and teachers for the next three years.

The theme of the Congress is closely linked to mobilising for a progressive society and reducing social inequalities. The CSQ believes this can be done by revitalising the trade unions’ position and role in society.

Trade union renewal

Trade union renewal is vital to cultivating the role of teacher representation and improving a group’s collective bargaining activity. Since 2012, more than 2,000 researchers, in connection with the CSQ, have been committed to researching studies related to trade union renewal and its connection to these objectives. During the Congress, delegates will debate about how to approach these issues, and establish a new plan of action based on the Committees recommendation. Additionally, a new CSQ Executive Board will be elected to lead these new initiatives.

Fighting anti-union attacks

Delegates are working tirelessly to counter the strict policies issued by both the Canadian federal and Quebec national government opposing trade unions. The governments’ attempts to weaken the trade union movement significantly affect not only teachers, but also members of the general population. As CSQ has shown, there are less social inequalities amongst people when public services and trade unions are given respect and a more prominent stronger role in creating change in society.

Education International is in Quebec to shed light on various topics deliberated by the CSQ,  such as trade union organising, rights, and cuts in education during times of economic and financial crisis, which will be further discussed at the 7th EI World Congress from 21-26 of July in Ottawa, Canada.