- Quebec teacher salaries are drastically less than those of other provinces and even manage to fall short of the national average.
- Starting salaries show this and the chasm only grows as Quebec teachers gain more experience.
- That's why the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers is demanding an increase, starting next year.
Teachers are perhaps the most underpaid essential public service no matter where you go, but for teachers in Quebec, that reality is keenly experienced. The province's public school teachers, at every level of experience, are paid at least $10,000 below the Canadian average. At worst, Quebec teacher salaries for teachers with 10 years of experience can be $22,303 below the national average.
The province ranks dead last in terms of teacher's salaries and it's not even close. A starting salary in Quebec begins at $44,386 per year whereas B.C. (2nd to last), entry-level teachers make $49,200 per year. After 10 years of experience, the gap between the two provinces widens by $18,066 - a teacher with 10 years experience in Quebec will only take home $64,534 compared to $82,600 for B.C. teachers.
In Quebec, it's clear that experience doesn't equal better pay. "Quebec's teachers are rightly demanding, at the very least, that their salaries should be brought up to the level of the Canadian average, to show that their work is valued," said Luc Gravel, VP of the Fédération des syndicats de l'enseignement (FSE-CSQ).
The teacher's unions in Quebec are demanding an 8% salary increase by April 2020 including incremental increases over the next 3 years.
"The [Quebec] government needs to understand the message that the question of salaries, like the question of better working conditions, is unavoidable," added Gravel.
Along with April 2020s demanded salary increase, Quebec teachers also want an increase of 3% on April 1, 2021, and an increase of 3% on April 2, 2022. This way, Quebec's teacher salaries will at least be closer to national averages.
With Quebec experiencing a growing teacher shortage, low salaries don't bode well for the prospects of attracting teachers to the province.
Teachers who choose to work in Alberta, for instance, will earn $15,120 more than those in Quebec for their first job and $29,569 more after 10 years of experience.
Not to mention they don't have to learn French and can wear whatever religious symbol they choose.
While we're not advocating for a mass teacher exodus to Alberta, it's understandable that compared to other provinces, the quality of Quebec's education system seems to be tied to how little teachers in the province are paid.
The highest-paid teachers in Canada are in the North West Territories, taking home $78,600 at entry-level and $111,883 after 10 years of experience. Distance and isolation are certainly a factor for these high salaries but it's shocking to see how much of a disparity there is from province to province.
So next time you want to take the piss out of your teacher, remember that they are getting paid less than some retail employees for dealing with your nonsense on the daily.
Compared to their colleagues across Canada, Quebec's public school teachers need more than 5 extra years of total service to reach the top of the salary scale.
"Things need to change now!" said the President of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers.