School staff prepare to strike in Listuguj

The unionized staff at Alaqsite’w Gitpu School in the Mi’gmaq First Nation of Listuguj voted strongly in support of a strike at a meeting this month. Workers will be in a legal strike position on August 26.

Bargaining between the union and band council members began in 2008. To date the parties have signed off on all articles with the exception of wages. Talks broke down when the employer tabled a zero per cent wage increase, after which the Union of Listuguj Employees applied for conciliation. Negotiations have been facilitated by a conciliator since May 2010.

At conciliation, the Union agreed to a one-year contract and a zero per cent wage increase. This was met with a counter from the employer of a ten per cent cut in wages and lay-offs.  

The union represents 53 teaching and non-teaching employees at the Alaqsite’w Gitpu School in the Mi’gmaq First Nation of Listuguj in Quebec. 87% of school staff is made up of First Nation Members who teach 260 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. The school offers courses in three languages – French, English and Mi’gmaq.

The Union is asking parents and community members to contact their band council and ask that the employer return to the table with a fair and respectful offer.  School is scheduled to resume on August 27. 

The Union of Listuguj Employees (ULE) is a direct chartered local of PSAC.