Nunavik teachers, support staff union wants benefits written into new agreements

Association of Employees of Northern Quebec to resume negotiations with school board later this month

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq school board and the union representing its teachers and school support staff are set to negotiate new collective agreements this year. (Photo by Cedric Gallant, special to Nunatsiaq News)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The union that represents teachers and school support staff in Nunavik says it wants to see newly-earned benefits and additional resources codified in its next collective agreements with the school board.

The Association of Employees of Northern Quebec represents teachers and school support staff — including receptionists, special education assistants, bus drivers and janitors — employed with the Nunavik and Cree school boards.

The union, which represents about 2,000 employees across northern Quebec including Nunavik, and Kativik Ilisarniliriniq have begun negotiations and are set to resume their meetings at the end of the month.

The current collective agreements expire at the end of the school year.

Earlier this year, both the union and school board celebrated a new series of benefits for its locally hired staff, including transportation and shipping allowances as well as housing assistance.

The benefits were meant to provide a sense of equality between the staff from the North and those who come from the south.

However, those benefits were established as “administrative measures” and not equally distributed, according to union president Larry Imbeault.

In the next collective agreements, Imbeault said he wants to see those benefits guaranteed to everyone.

“As it is right now, the board can do what they want with those measures, and there’s hardly anything we can do,” Imbeault said in an interview.

He also said teachers often lack some resources in schools, such as special education assistants. To fill that gap, Imbeault said he wants to see those employees, and other teachers looking to continue learning, given the opportunity to access continued training.

“We want to improve the knowledge of our teachers,” Imbeault said.

Nunatsiaq News contacted Kativik Ilisarniliriniq’s media relations staff to discuss the school board’s negotiation goals and its response to some of the initial demands the union publicly announced at the end of 2022.

“At the moment, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq is not providing statements or interviews as the negotiations are ongoing,” spokesperson Jade Bernier wrote in an email.

Bernier also included a link to the school board’s negotiating committee’s website.

Imbeault said he hopes negotiations run smoothly and both sides can meet in person to reach an agreement.

He also emphasized that the school board’s negotiating committee indicated to him that it is approaching talks with an open mind about what the union’s members want.

“The board and us, we all want the same thing, which is improving the educational success of the students,” Imbeault said.

“We believe that by improving the working conditions of its employees, the board will be able to improve the educational success of the students.”

Education professionals, such as counsellors and consultants, are members of another union and are not involved in these contract negotiations.


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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tardy and absenteeism on

    When will the union and or KI address the days our kids are not in School, due to teacher be late and or not showing up, or just calling in sick over and over. It’s very unacceptable and very damaging to the children who miss so much school. Nunavik is crippling as it is , behind the rest of Quebec, but we have this deep problem of no show for kids-due to no teachers , it’s chronic, it’s time this be dealt with.

    • Posted by MakeNunavikGreatAgain on

      If you think Larry Imbeault is going to step in and show up, you’re dreaming, this guy is wrong. He lives in the south, hidden in a big office.

      The Crees did the right thing by kicking him out .

      All the new benefits for locals are coming from KI’s desire for fairness, Imbeault and the union have nothing to do with it.

      Even KI is saying that he screwed out, failing for many years to protected all the workers… after so many years: named one thing win that he did?

      Southerner Larry, living at our expenses,

      If you wanna thanks someone, say it to Harriet, she did in 1 year what the union failled to do in 20 years

  2. Posted by Stephen Grasser on

    It would be highly irregular if benefits were not part of any collective agreement. This is non-news IMHO.

  3. Posted by A Dad on

    Employees with alcohol dependency can be given time and support to reduce their need to be regularly off from their work only for to be drinking. When employees aren’t doing anything to help themselves intervention by union and mmgt team to make it known to that person the dependency is affecting more than only themselves in not so good ways, that help is available, that their students as well as themselves are affected.

    • Posted by A dad, too on

      I honestly think all those teacher training trips they take during the year are outrageous, too. Bar gets packed to the gills and no one actually shows up to the training. Instead of tossing all teachers into the bottle, why don’t they just have a team travel via charter town to town and train them in the later hours? 1. Our kids would miss less school. 2. They charter anyway. 3. At least they’ll attend the training sessions.

      Idk how many times I’ve complained about the teachers with their lack of basic knowledge. Sending kids home before sending them to the infirmary/hospital after they get pushed and hit the back of their head on metal objects. Then report it just as a headache? Cmon KI. Want equal rights? Work equal hours.

  4. Posted by Bullsh.t on

    When is agreement to be signed??? It’s not about to expire this year it’s expired 3 years ago. Lies. Again workers suffer. When you owe to government you pay interest. When gouvernemnt owe you nothing happen.
    Where is our agreement?

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