Aug 232015

August 23, 2015

Mr. Howard Miller
Director General
Eastern Shores School Board
40, rue Montsorrel, C.P. 500
New Carlisle, QC
G0C 1Z0

Dear Mr. Miller:

As part of the provincial Action Plan to support the ongoing provincial contract negotiations, the members of ESTA are now boycotting all training sessions organized by the administration or school board (this includes training sessions at the local and provincial levels).

What does this mean?  We will not attend optional training activities. As for compulsory activities, you can order us to attend and we will comply. However, participation will be PASSIVE in nature.

Furthermore, we ask that you respect our fifty (50) minute lunch hour and thirty-two (32) hours of presence per week to be respected (five hours per week should be teacher-directed as they are part of the Work of a Personal Nature (WPN) time).  Included in the 32 hours is any time spent traveling to workshops not held at our “home” school.


Ray Venables

cc. Ms. Nancy Doddridge, Director of Human Resources
Ms. Lisa Mosher, Director of Education Services
Mr. Wade Gifford, Chair of the Council of Commissioners
ESTA Union Delegates

Feb 012015

The current ideology of austerity embraced by this government is meant to undo Quebec’s social infrastructures. The Government’s offer to Quebec’s teachers in this round of negotiations serves to prove that. Here are some points from their sectorial offer deposited on Dec 16, 2014.

A major increase in the number of students per class:

  • Return to the ratios of fifteen years ago, adding an average of two to five students per class, often more, with the possibility of eleven more in some cases!
  • For schools in economically disadvantaged areas, a return to the same ratio as other schools
  • Abolition of average class sizes: only the maximum number of students will be respected
  • Addition of five reasons to legally justify exceeding the maximum number of students per class

More students with special needs in each class:

  • Elimination of weighting of students with special needs in making up a class (a priori weighting)
  • Elimination of the definitions of various learning difficulties which identified students in order to help them better

Significant attacks on teacher workload:

  • Increase in presence time at school from 32 to 35 hours a week to be assigned by administration (no more time for personal work for preparation and correcting)
  • Elimination of progressive entry for preschool and addition of the possibility to form multilevel groups between kindergarten and Grade One
  • Abolition of the 50 km limit to transfer a teacher (in the context of school board fusions)

Significant attacks on professional autonomy:

  • Professional improvement prescribed by the employer
  • Imposition of specific teaching methods

Elimination of a minimum number of jobs in technical education and adult education

No more obligation to respect the recall list

This is only a glimpse of the nightmare! It’s clear that students and teachers will suffer from this.

Together, let’s tell the government that these offers are unacceptable!

Please add your voices to the online petition by following this link:

Dec 182014

Teacher unions where taken aback by the Government’s insulting offer this week. All indications are that there will be an ugly fight between the Liberal Government and its teachers in the new year. Although Liberal leader Philippe Couillard stated that “Education is the best investment of all for the future” on March 10, 2014, it seems that neither the Treasury Board nor Yves Bolduc, Minster of Education, agree.

Read QPAT’s press release here. Ou ici en français.

Read the details of the Government’s offer here. Ou ici en français.

Note: all documents are available on QPAT’s website at

Jun 102014

According to article 3:00 of the ESSB-ESTA calendar agreement, “Proposed changes to the school calendar for an individual school must be approved by the school council prior to presentation to the Union and Board for consideration. Requests for changes must meet the following deadline:

  • Prior to June 30th of the preceding school year for changes to holidays and/or for changes to fixed professional days.
  • When proposing changes, school councils must coordinate with other ESSB schools in their territory.
  • Consideration must also be given to the following:
  1. Shared transportation with French Boards; and
  2. The number of siblings of ESSB students in French schools.

All schools are asked to submit proposed calendar changes to ESTA as soon as possible.


Conformément à l’article 3:00 de l’entente calendriers scolaire CSES-AEES, “Tout changement proposé au calendrier scolaire affectant une école spécifique doit recevoir l’approbation préalable du conseil d’école avant la soumission au syndicat et à la commission scolaire pour considération et doit rencontrer l’échéancier suivant:

  • Avant le 30 juin de l’année précédente pour tous changements reliés aux congés et/ou aux arrêts pédagogiques.
  • Le conseil d’école doit coordonner tout changement proposé avec les autres écoles de la Commission scolaire Eastern Shores dans le même territoire. Il faut également considérer les éléments suivants : partage du transport scolaire avec le secteur francophone ainsi que le nombre de fèves et soeurs d’élèves de CSES qui fréquentent les écoles francophones.

Toutes les écoles sont invitées à soumettre les modifications à leurs calendriers scolaire à l’AEES dès que possible.


Apr 292014

Clause 8-5.01 of the Collective Agreement states that “A teacher’s work year shall comprise 200 workdays and, unless there is an agreement to the contrary between the board and the union, it shall begin on September 1 and end on the following June 30.” It is generally agreed that an agreement to begin the school year earlier than September 1st is advantageous to teachers and students since it allows for more breaks throughout the year. Therefore, clause 8-5.02 (a) of our local agreement states that “The union and the board shall meet prior to May 1st of each school year to commence negotiations on the placement of the work days for the following school year.  The process should be finalized by May 15th.”

As a result of the consultation in eleven (11) of ESSB’s school (i.e. those that ESSB has its own bussing service) and the subsequent vote for next year’s school calendar, the results are the following:

Calendar 1:          35 Votes
Calendar 2:          17 Votes
Calendar 3:          14 Votes
Calendar 4:          19 Votes

Therefore, the ESTA negotiating team will meet with ESSB next week to negotiate calendar 1. Thank you to all those who participated in this democratic process.

May 092010

Now that April’s Action Plan has ended, you may be wondering what is planned for the month of May?  As we get farther and farther away from the end of our last, decreed contract (March 31st), it is important to keep the pressure on the Government and its negotiators so that we can reach a negotiated settlement.

Last Tuesday, the QPAT Board of Directors met and discussed its future action plan in order to move negotiations forward and to support the Common Front.  The ESTA executive will be discussing the proposed action and will contact union reps sometime this week.

Nobody wants a strike, but it’s increasingly looking like this could be a possibility at some point.  At the QPAT table the possibility of seeking a strike mandate is being discussed. Have no fear however since teachers will be consulted beforehand.

Mar 182010

Are you up for the challenge?

The ESTA executive met on Tuesday, March 16 to discuss many issues including Provincial Negotiations.  The time is ticking, Mr. Charest and Mme. Courchesne, since our contract will expire on March 31, 2010!  Are you listening?

THE EXTA EXECUTIVE HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR ALL SCHOOLS AND CENTRES: send us a group photo of all your teachers with your QPAT paraphernalia (e.g banners, bracelets, and scarves) in a show of SOLIDARITY!  We want the public to know that we’re working hard on a NEGOTIATED contract.  We want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE despite the distance and isolation.

On March 20, the Common Front will have a massive rally in Montreal.  Since we can’t join them, why not show them that our spirit and support?

As we prepare to put into force the QPAT Action Plan, I will be communicating with you soon (especially concerning the extended recess periods every Wednesday for the month of April).

Have a good union day and SEND US YOUR PHOTOS!  Don’t be shy!

Ray and the ESTA Exective

Give us the Means to Meet the Neeeds!

Give us the Means to Meet the Needs!