Adopted under constraint
The collective agreement of cegep teachers is negotiated at three levels.
The first level is the central table. The negotiated contract will integrate dispositions shared by the various public sector organizations and negotiated with the Treasury Board of the Quebec government. This first group of negotiated items are principally salaries, retirement and parental rights.
The second level of negotiation is the sectoral one. The collective agreement of cegep teachers contains sectoral items negotiated by the FNEEQ negotiating committee along with the Comité patronal de négociation des collèges (CPNC) gathering the Ministry of Education Leasure and Sports and the Fédération des Cégeps.
Finally, the collective agreement contains issues negotiated at the local level defined in the appendix A of Law 37. However, these issues are negotiated nationally between the Fédération des cégeps and FNEEQ and recommended for adoption at the local level (the unions and the colleges).
The collective agreement 2005-2010 contains all these sections. However the last negotiation was abruptely interrupted by a decree.
On December 15 2005, the Quebec government of Jean Charest passed a special law (bill 142) to put an end to the negotiation process and imposed a contract on us. Bill 142 not only contained repressive measures but was imposing by decree working conditions from the central table (8 years contract, wages frozen for 2 years and 2% for the years after). With the deadline fast approaching, FNEEQ negotiated a partial "agreement" that removed some of the most harsh measures included in the special law. As a result, our contract is the equivalent of a shot-gun wedding — a forced agreement.
On the day after the adoption under the veil of Law 43 by the national assembly, FNEEQ and its unions have adopted a resolution condemning the decree. FNEEQ has also contested the legitimacy of law 43, not only for being an unjustified and authoritarian gesture but also regarding the negotiation democratic process and the repressive measures it entails. In effect, the decree contains repressive dispositions for any alteration (perturbation, slowdown, strike, etc) of normal services by the organisations, the unions or their members.
In March 2007, the International labour office has severely condemned the decree.