On behalf of the Quebec English School Boards Association, and the 115,000 students served by our nine English school boards, I join the Minister, and my colleagues Mme Miron and Me Caron, in inviting our teachers, professionals and support staff to join us in making this year’s school reopening a smooth, positive and secure one for all of our children across the province.
Many young Quebecers will be entering Kindergarten for the first time this week. Their very first lessons learned should be about new horizons, friendships and challenges. These children should be learning from our example of co-operation and compromise. They should be in class, greeting the teachers whose professionalism and commitment will guide and nurture their development over the next 10 months.
It is our collective responsibility – Quebec school boards, this government and, the union leadership representing education workers to agree upon the conditions necessary to best serve the kids in our elementary, high school and adult centres. The QESBA believes it is our collective
responsibility to get this job done well…and to do it without disrupting the lives of Quebec children and parents.
Up to the moment when negotiations were suspended in late June, the Quebec English School Board Association was of the view that important progress had been made on the non-monetary issues that all parties agreed were to be at the heart of this round of talks.
Our view on this is clearly and publicly shared by union leadership. There was, and there remains real hope that a new agreement will include substantial new support for students with special needs. There was and there remains real hope for an agreement that will put our teachers at the very centre of school-based decision-making, in a way that will help us meet the
diverse demands of our schools in different areas of the province. We are eager to resume those discussions, starting today, and taking all the time that is needed to get a solid, productive agreement.
With good faith and determination from all parties, QESBA is convinced that an agreement can be reached through serious negotiation. This can best happen while our schools stay open, unfettered by work stoppages and pressure tactics. Let’s work towards an agreement together. Let’s not ask our kids or our parents to pay the price in uncertainty, conflict and inconvenience.
(Notes from remarks delivered by Marcus Tabachnick, president, to a news conference in Montreal)