May 23, 2012
Teacher group donates money to Que. student movement
By Brian Daly, QMI Agency
MONTREAL — Quebec's student movement has received another injection of cash from a prominent union outside the province.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), representing more than 68,000 post-secondary staff across Canada, said Wednesday it will donate $20,000 to the masterminds of the 101-day strike.
CAUT also lambasted Bill 78, a new Quebec law that imposes stiff fines against student groups that encourage civil unrest.
The law was a response to blockades that prevented students from attending class at 25 community colleges and university faculties. Student associations that violate the law could see cuts to funding, or even office space, a move CAUT calls "oppressive."
"We will call upon all our member associations to make a donation to the students' legal defence fund," the group said in a statement.
The special law contains a provision ordering teachers to report to work once the semester resumes in August, and it bars teacher protests of the type seen at several boycotted schools. CAUT says it plans to fight the law.
"For our members in Quebec, CAUT will assist in filing grievances about each aspect of Bill 78 that violates their collective agreement rights," the group said.
CAUT is the third labour group from outside Quebec to announce financial support for the student movement.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3902, representing teaching assistants at the University of Toronto, voted in April to donate $20,000 to a wing of the radical CLASSE association.
A CUPE local representing staff at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., donated $10,000.
CLASSE has repeatedly refused to condemn violent rampages in which civilians, police officers and journalists were attacked.
The latest clashes took place Wednesday evening, prompting police to make 100 arrests.