Student CÉGEP strike ends... for now
The last two holdouts of the CÉGEP strike are calling it quits... for now.
While a dozen other schools voted to head back to class this week. the CÉGEP du Vieux-Montreal and CÉGEP de Saint-Laurent had voted to remain on strike, with slim margins.
With school administrators threatening to fail students who who did not return to class on Monday, some students circulated online petitions to bring their unions back to a re-vote.
This afternoon, both schools voted to end their strikes with wide margins.
But Valentin Bellec, spokesperson for the CÉGEP de Saint-Laurent, says it's merely a pause in their fight:
"It's not the stop of the strike, it's merely a suspension. It's because people wanted to finish their sesson."
The Saint-Laurent mandate includes strikes on the 22nd of each month. (Some of the movement's biggest protest days have happened consistently on the 22nd of each month.)
Following the provincial election, the student union will hold another general assemblt to discuss the next action.
The election has presented another tool for students seeking to oppose the proposed tuition increase.
"So, if we want to stop the tuition hikes," said Éliane Laberge, president of FECQ, the student CÉGEP federation, "we'll we have to choose a party that is not proposing a tuition hike increases and go vote on the fourth of September."
Student votes like these are notoriously long and difficult to manage. Bellec said that at Saint-Laurent, the atmosphere was charged, but things ran smoothly: "A lot of people were in disagreement, but there was a lot of respect."
At CÉGEP de Vieux-Montreal, students said it was the largest gathering of students in recent memory, with almost 3,000 arrived to vote. Ex-CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois tweeting that the numbers would erase any doubts about whether the final decision took in enough student's opinions.