“We are being deceived, I am at my limit”: Exhausted, striking teachers are looking for another job

After a 16-day strike by the Autonomous Education Federation, teachers are now looking for another job, pushed to their limits by recent unrest in negotiations with the Legault government.

• Also read: Seriously, what is François Legault for?

• Also read: Unlimited general strike: return to classes on Monday “unrealistic”

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That’s what Sonia Bahl, a primary school teacher from Estrie with almost 20 years of experience, will do next week.

Instead of demonstrating, she will update her resume. In the current context, Ms. Bahl hopes to quickly find another job and not finish the school year.

“We are being deceived, I feel disrespected. I have reached my limit,” she said in an interview with Le Journal on Thursday.

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Prime Minister François Legault’s statements in recent days have convinced them that the government is negotiating “in a spirit of destruction” by trying to “emotionally manipulate” teachers, while Bill 23, approved last week, will only contribute to ” to further devalue the profession.” according to Ms. Bahl.

“This is the message I receive,” she says in a publication on social networks addressed to François Legault. “You have chosen to be a bad faith interlocutor. Do I want to continue working for an employer of this caliber?

No, says this teacher, who for several years has denounced the government’s inaction in the education sector, which has led to public schools “drifting” and teachers to the brink of exhaustion.

We are being deceived I am at my limit

Photo provided by Sonia Bahl

Not an isolated case

Ms. Bahl also reiterates that she is not an isolated case. Her publication, which was widely shared in teacher groups, was well received by many colleagues, she says.

This is particularly true for Joanna Kaczmarek, a fourth-grade teacher from Montreal, who contacted her school service center on Wednesday to inquire about what to do in the event of a termination.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and with what’s happening right now it’s even worse. If we go back to the same conditions as before the strike, I’m no longer interested. If we don’t get something sensible with the government, I will definitely consider other avenues,” she says, citing the lack of resources and constant struggles to pay for services that never meet the needs of her students reaches its limits.

Fear of returning to class

The return to class after weeks of strike makes us fear the worst, adds Ms. Kaczmarek, if this pent-up demand arises again.

“It’s still the teachers and students who have to work harder, and that’s scary,” she says.

Several teachers also say on social networks that they are looking for work due to the protracted conflict.

“In the face of contempt, indifference and lack of consideration, it is legitimate to turn around and go with the headwind, to be creative and try to take our intelligence, our weapons, our sweat and our expertise elsewhere,” one of them writes.

Some 66,500 Autonomous Education Federation teachers have been on an indefinite general strike since November 23, which has led to the closure of 40% of the province’s schools, an unprecedented move in Quebec in 40 years.

Without strike pay, these teachers, most of whom are women, have been without pay for three weeks.

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