This past week, general assemblies at Université de Montréal resulted in two more student associations voting for a combination of strike days and an unlimited general strike to begin in March. These are the 366-member anthropology association AEAUM and the 170-member art history association AEEHAUM.
However, strike votes failed to carry for larger student associations at other institutions, where they decided through referendums rather than general assemblies.
[Original article by Laurent Lavoie in Montréal Campus, the independent student newspaper of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Translation by Jonathan Turcotte-Summers.]
In the next few days, more student associations will have their turn to take a position on the carrying out of an unlimited general strike for the remuneration of all internships, and these measures do not worry Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge.
“If some students mobilize, it will have no impact, we’re already at work and we already have a clear game plan. If they deprive themselves of being in their courses, it will result in absolutely nothing, because the government will not go any faster,” declared the Coalition Avenir Québec minister during an interview with chamblymatin.com.
ADEESE, the education student association at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), surprisingly voted down a proposed unlimited general strike at its general assembly on February 5. After a recount, the official tally was 343 for and 396 against, with 22 abstentions.
This loss was particularly disappointing since the 5,000-member association is the largest yet to vote on the strike this year, and has been among the most active participants in the campaign for paid internships. As a result, some might be wondering whether the previous provincial government, under the Liberal Party of Quebec, effectively managed to placate the juggernaut association — or the movement as a whole — with its offer of compensation for the final student-teaching internship.