News regarding NORTHERN NEGOTIATION
As you know, the FPPE also negotiates on behalf of professionals from the Cree and Kativik school boards. Most demands from the South are also brought to the Northern tables, in addition to a dozen or so demands that are specific to working conditions in the North.
Union demands were tabled over a year ago, in October 2019, and sustained negotiations have been ongoing ever since. It is clear that there is an impasse at the tables in the North, just as there is in the South. The employer has not made any significant headway on any major demands, despite our presentations and detailed arguments over the past few months.
At the Cree table (P3), we feel the employer does not understand the problems experienced by professionals in the field. The employer minimizes our demands and simply isn’t open to negotiation.
At the Kativik table (P4), we sense a better understanding of the reality on the ground, but this simply has not translated into concrete solutions to improve working conditions.
We have identified concrete solutions to improve the attraction and retention of professional staff in the North, such as an additional leave, the possibility of working from home, greater flexibility in bereavement leave, and monetizing the food transportation allowance. At the Cree School Board, we want four more villages to qualify for the food transportation allowance. At the Kativik School Board, we want to improve the employee assistance program. We also have some quite simple requests, which would not involve any costs for the employer, such as setting up an attraction and retention committee and providing more supervision in the management of disabilities. The employer simply is not open to discussion and negotiations are at a standstill.
In addition, the employer continues to maintain demands that affect job security, such as increasing the length of employment of supernumerary staff and being allowed to terminate a fixed-term contract before it expires.
Under these circumstances, we must send a strong message to the employer to express our dissatisfaction. We have simple, accessible and concrete solutions to improve working conditions and we want to be heard!