Closed schools looking for teachers


All public schools in the province will be closed this Friday due to the strikes. Meanwhile, school service centers are posting job offers to try to find teachers.

  • Even during a strike in the public sector, school service centers offer to find teachers for the upcoming return to class.
  • According to the latest report from the Ministry of Education, there is a shortage of 934 teachers in Quebec as of November 20.
  • According to industry stakeholders, strike or not, it is difficult to find candidates for teaching positions.

In the Draveurs school service center, for example, we are currently looking for ten “passionate teachers” to fill several full-time tasks in elementary classes (1re2e5e and 6e year, in particular), but also in secondary school.

A scenario that is not exclusive to the Outaouais and is repeated almost everywhere in Quebec. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Education, as of November 20, there are 934 teaching positions to be filled. More than half are full-time.

Locating staff during a strike is an “inappropriate strategy,” according to Mélanie Laroche, professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the University of Montreal.

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It certainly sends a message that may offend the strikers. But at the same time, there are operational needs, perhaps.

Mélanie Laroche, professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the University of Montreal

mME Laroche participated, Thursday, in a webinar on public sector negotiations organized by the Interuniversity Research Center on Globalization and Work (CRIMT).

In the Draveurs school service center, it was indicated that the offers published this week “are not the result of the departures due to the strike”.

“They are instead a response to normal needs (…) at this time of the school year,” wrote its spokesperson Andréanne Desforges.

He specified that “the people hired by the current pressure tactics received a promise of work for the end of the conflict”.

Closed Schools Looking For Teachers
Teachers affiliated with the Autonomous Federation of Education demonstrated Thursday in Montreal.

The Fédération des centers de services scolaire du Québec also explains that a candidate “may be hired immediately, even in times of conflict, but he will take office after the strike or at a later date agreed by his employer.

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The president of the Quebec Federation of Educational Institution Directors (FQDE), Nicolas Prévost, also said that the strike will not prevent teachers from hiring.

“There is always a delay before (a teacher) pays his union dues, the time to put the administrative mechanics in place, but the service centers will be careful: a new teacher should not be fired “according to his future colleagues,” underlined Nicolas Prévost.

Always a challenge, strike or not

Is it harder to find teachers during a strike?

Among the several service centers where we asked the question, only that of Draveurs told us that “at the moment” it is difficult to comment on the subject. “But, at first glance, that doesn’t seem to be the case,” added Andréanne Desforges.

At the Fédération des centers de services scolaire du Québec, we were told that “in the context of the labor shortage, recruitment represents a constant challenge throughout the year, with or without a strike.”

This is also the opinion of Nicolas Prévost, who says that, strike or not, he will be “surprised” if candidates flock to follow these publications that offer work.

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No one answered the call. We noticed before the strike that no one was interested. It started well then.

Nicolas Prévost, president of the Quebec Federation of Educational Institution Directors

Several announcements have been made in recent years to try to attract new candidates to schools. For example, financial incentives are offered in Quebec to retired teachers and those without a certificate are invited to send their applications for positions normally reserved for qualified teachers.

Professor of the department of human resource management at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, Chloé Fortin-Bergeron also participated in the CRIMT webinar. He believes that working conditions are detrimental to recruitment.

“The government wants to open teaching positions, that is part of its offers (…), but if people do not apply for these positions, what does that mean? », he asked.

The “disengagement of the teaching profession” is “deep”, he also believes.

For his part, Nicolas Prévost observed that the shortage “increases every week”.