The staff at Alaqsite’w Gitpu School in the Mi’gmaq First Nation of Listuguj in Quebec has ratified its first collective agreement after nearly three years of difficult bargaining and creative community mobilizing.
The two sides entered into conciliation in May 2010, but bargaining soon came to a standstill. Talks resumed in early December.
This is a landmark victory for PSAC local 69081, the last of three First Nations locals represented by the Atlantic Region to reach a collective agreement. The unit is made up of 53 teaching and non-teaching staff. Three quarters of the staff are from Listuguj and the majority of workers are women.
Alaqsite’w Gitpu School has 260 students from nursery to eighth grade and offers courses in three languages – French, English and Mi’gmaq. The school is at the heart of the community and makes it possible for Mi’gmaq culture to flourish.
The workers are currently in a lockout situation and hope that chief and council will ratify the agreement at their next meeting.