An agreement in principle reached between the Quebec government and a union that represents about 66,000 teachers includes $33.3 million to help reduce the workload for some teachers, Radio-Canada has learned.
The Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE)'s had asked Quebec for changes to classroom composition, essentially requesting more help in the classroom, particularly for students with difficulties.
The sum includes $19.1 million for primary schools to have extra resources for evaluating students with learning challenges. At the high school level, $14.2 million is earmarked for the same purpose.
At the preschool level, an annual sum of $5.3 million will be allocated for the addition of part-time resources in disadvantaged areas.
The tentative agreement says 4,000 new classroom aids will be added, with bonuses ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 for some teachers who have a majority of students with learning difficulties.
The province says it will work to eliminate lunchtime and recess supervision for teachers, pay teachers for five hours of planning per week and hire more than 5,000 new teachers.
Philippa Parks, an assistant professor at the Université de Sherbrooke's faculty of education, says that means "a lot of unpaid work is now being recognized as part of important teacher tasks and is being compensated."
She says creating new teacher contracts will make it easier for teachers to get tenure-track positions.
Teachers will get a 17.4 percent pay increase over five years, after 22 days of strikes without normal pay.
But some aren't happy with the agreement in principle.
High school teacher Reuben Ramsay says he doesn't think the outcome "matches that level of sacrifice" teachers made while on strike.
The agreement in principle still has to be presented to the majority of the FAE's 66,500 members, who will have to ratify it in the next few weeks for it to take effect.