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August 9, 2012
CEGEPs Saint-Jérôme and Valleyfield voted Wednesday on their return to classes. Students at St. Jerome voted in favor of a truce until the elections, while those at Valleyfield will return to class next Tuesday.
The student association from St. Jerome College chose to call a truce until September 4, the day of Quebec’s general election. However, those who voted Wednesday afternoon are only 250 students out of 3700. Despite the low turnout, the institution’s administration is not calling into question the vote, saying that it reflects the general will.
“What gives us confidence is that following the suspension of classes last spring, we conducted a major survey to confirm the students’ return in August. Over 90% responded and 87% had indicated their interest to resume the session on August 16th”, explained the spokesman for the college, Guylaine Gagner.
In the evening, students from Valleyfield College voted overwhelmingly in favor of the return to classes on August 14th. Using secret ballots, 246 students voted for the renewal of the strike until August 20th, while 426 voted against it, 19 abstained and two others canceled their vote.
CLASSE is committed to respect the will of the student association members, who have been on strike since February 20.
The co-spokesperson for the organization, Jeanne Reynolds, expressed her disappointment all the same about the results from Valleyfield College, the institution she attends. “Certainly we cannot jump for joy; it comes from my college, so I know the activists. However, there is no tradition of student struggle, and this is a win that should be highlighted,” she said.
“We were still 160,000 [striking students] when Bill 12 [trans. note: formerly Bill 78] suspended the student conflict, so there is a good chance for us to continue the strike,” she said, calling members “to continue to mobilize.”
Strike votes continue
CEGEPs de Maisonneuve and Marie-Victorin will host their general assembly on Monday, August 13th, that is, the very same day that classes are scheduled to start.
As for universities, students in the humanities at UQAM voted on Tuesday night to continue the strike indefinitely, the same as students in social work at the Université de Montréal on Monday. Graduate students in arts and communications at the Université de Sherbrooke (except for those in the Longueuil campus) also voted to continue the strike on Monday.
Nearly 150 associations from 12 academic institutions still have general strike mandates indefinitely after the adoption of Law 12 (Bill 78) in May, as reported by CLASSE.
In addition, Jean Charest announced on Tuesday the signing of a tentative agreement with representatives of CEGEP teachers to add instructors to assist teaching personnel in September.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.