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APPALACHIAN TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part One

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QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 1
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QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 13
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 14
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 15
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 16
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part One
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Two
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Three
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin October 26, 2005 Part Four
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section un)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section deux)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section trois)
Mise à jour sur la négociation (section quatre)
QPAT Negotiations Bulletin 17
Modified Action Plan
Plan d'action modifié
November 14 Voting Results
QESBA Press Release
New Name for Ministry of Education
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No settlement … yet

 

As you probably know from news reports, our negotiations with the government broke down on October 13.  The one good consequence of the breakdown in talks is that the “embargo” we have been under during the talks no longer applies, and QPAT is now able to provide you with a fairly complete summary of what we have negotiated to date.

 

Our negotiations resumed in late August after the summer break.  It was hoped that a settlement could be reached very quickly through intensive talks at a high level.   As with our negotiations in June, the negotiating was limited to two people per side at each of the two tables (French and English).  As already mentioned, the content of the talks was restricted, or under embargo, which is common for talks held at this kind of “high-level” table.

 

Unfortunately, despite hard work, lengthy meetings extending into the night and through several weekends, no deal was reached at either the French or the English table.  On October 5, the negotiating teams met the Minister of Education in the hope that he would intervene to settle the remaining necessary points for the union side, and arrive at a settlement.  Even this attempt failed to produce the required flexibility by government negotiators to bring about a deal.  In frustration at this failure, and with no flexibility left on the remaining points outstanding, the union side left the table on October 13th.

 

Subsequently, there has been quite a lot of media coverage of a story put out by the Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA) alleging that there is an agreement that was reached at the “English” table, but that QPAT representatives were refusing to sign it out of loyalty to our colleagues in the Fédération des Syndicats de l’Enseignement (FSE). 

 

This is just not true.  There is no settlement.  If we had one, and if it included a guarantee of our share of the new money ($90 million) being added to provide more services for our special needs students, our colleagues in the FSE would be the first to encourage us to sign it.  But this deal, unfortunately, is a QESBA myth.

 

What is not a myth and what has been consistent throughout this round is that the QESBA is determined to be different from the French table, whatever the consequences.

 

What about our number one priority, special needs students?

 

Special education has been in the forefront during this round of negotiations.  Both union and management sides labeled it “high priority”, although that did not mean we saw things in the same way from the start.  Despite differences in the initial proposals, there is agreement on the need to improve the level of services to students with special needs. 

 

At this point, we have agreed on a framework based on the following 10 principles:

 

·        a substantial increase ($90 million) in available resources for services to special needs students to be introduced over a 3-year period;

·        this increase is in addition to all monies spent for special needs students for the base year (2005-2006);

·       a streamlining of the current process for providing services for students and support for teachers so that it is more on an “on demand” basis;

·       a simpler and more efficient procedure to obtain these services;

·       an end of the need for ad hoc committee meetings for students “at risk” and those with “learning disabilities”;

·       a removal of coding and weighting for students “at risk” and those with “learning disabilities”;

·      a continuation of coding and weighting for purposes of oversized class compensation for students with  “behavioral difficulties”

(code 12);

·      status quo provisions continue to apply for “severe behavioral” and “handicapped” students;

·       significant union participation at the school board level in overseeing fair and equitable distribution of resources;

·       significant teacher input at the school level in determining the organizational model and the priorities for the resources available at school.

 

These principles have not yet been fully translated into workable clauses.  This is a very important aspect of the negotiations still to be completed, particularly at the English table.  The wording at the French table, still not finished, covers much more ground than has yet been covered at the English table.  As you can understand, the wording of the clauses is needed to solidify the gains made.  Though there has been a great deal of discussion, there are a number of items to clarify and to flesh out (see What issues are still outstanding? in part three).

 

 

 

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