CPE | The FIPEQ-CSQ will request strike mandates from its 3,000 members

Some 3,000 workers in Early Childhood Centers (CPE) will be called upon, in the coming days, to decide on a “progressive strike” mandate.

These are 3,000 workers who are members of unions of the Federation of Early Childhood Workers (FIPEQ), which is affiliated with the CSQ.

They will vote on this strike mandate starting next Monday until May 16.

If the mandate is actually granted by the members, this possible progressive strike would be triggered “at the time deemed appropriate,” said Valérie Grenon, president of FIPEQ, in an interview.

A progressive strike can be broken down into hours, half-days, days or blocks of a few days. “We are going to go there gradually, if we have to use it, to calmly put pressure on,” said M.me Grenon.

“We are not at all on an unlimited general strike, for the moment,” she clarified.

No negotiation; no deposit

If FIPEQ has resigned itself to requesting such mandates, it is to obtain the submission of government offers and the start of negotiations, one year after the expiry of the collective agreements.

“We are not negotiating at all. We had a meeting this week: they wanted to explain to us the state of Quebec’s finances,” reports the union leader.

The president of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, indicated in February that before submitting her offers, she wanted to wait until the other union organizations, and not just FIPEQ, had submitted their requests.

However, other union organizations concerned at the CSN and the FTQ have told The Canadian Press that they have been ready for months.

Mme Grenon adds that even if Quebec was not ready to submit its salary offer intended for everyone, it could have started discussions on the normative clauses specific to each union organization.

And Mme Grenon “does not at all” want to wait until September, or even the fall, to begin negotiations. The collective agreements expired on March 31, 2023, at the same time as those in the public sector.

Its frustration is such that FIPEQ filed a complaint for bad faith negotiation against Quebec.

“We wish we hadn’t gone there. Honestly, we thought that the government cared about our network to offer places to parents. But we are going to put the necessary pressure to maintain our stakeholders and have a real deposit and finally negotiate,” concludes M.me Grenon.

The CPEs that would be affected by a possible FIPEQ strike are located in the regions of Chaudière-Appalaches, Montreal, Laval, Capitale-Nationale, Montérégie, Lanaudière, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Estrie. Not all CPEs in these regions would be affected, since the two other union centers also represent workers there.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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