NEWS

Quebec unions say they're ready to fight reforms in 2015

01/02/2015 06:53 EST | Updated 03/04/2015 05:59 EST
As students get ready to head back to class after the holidays, teachers head back to the political battlefield to fight against cuts proposed by the Philippe Couillard government.

Members of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) say they're ready to keep fighting, but would rather stick to the negotiating table than protest in the streets.

“What we want to do over the next few months is to convince the government to have a real dialogue with citizens,” said CSQ president Louise Chabot at a news conference Friday.

Chabot says her wish for 2015 is to see the government put its proposed reforms on hold.

Long list of changes

Couillard's government has a long list of changes planned for 2015. 

Among them is the centralization of school boards, which was proposed by the education minister last November.

"We just look to decrease the number of school boards. Yesterday I gave them a plan, I told them that I was ready to discuss," said Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc.

CSQ organizers say those kinds of changes might be aimed at balancing the budget, but warn they'll end up setting the province back by 40 years.

They say there's no point to a zero deficit if important services like health and education are cut.

“When the government says that it won’t affect the population, it’s not true,” said Chabot.

Chabot says there's no way the government can guarantee its reforms won’t hurt public services and if the government continues down this path, it will be impossible to revive the economy.

CSQ organizers wouldn't say if they have any pressure tactics planned for the new year.

However, they did say they plan to take part in all government talks about reform of the education, daycare and health systems.

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