Teachers in the Quebec province in Canada have been taking part in mass protests against the massive cuts being brought in by the government.

The main issue in the strikes and protests is the government's austerity agenda and the resulting lack of investment in education. Campaigners are determined to stop increased class sizes and an extension to the working week, from 32 hours to 35 - 40 hours, which they say will increase workload to an unsustainable extent and make it even more difficult to prepare properly to teach. The cost-cutting exercise will have a particularly serious effect on children with special needs, who will no longer be specifically counted in class size calculations. 

Teachers are taking part in two days of strikes in a broad coalition with other public sector workers including those in health and social services under the banner of the CSQ. Altogether over 400,000 workers are taking part. The chair of the CSQ said that workers were not prepared to sacrifice public services and become impoverished 'to finance tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy.'

At a mass protest in the capital, Montreal Teachers Association made it clear that the protests would continue, carrying placards with slogans like 'cuts hurt kids!' The President of the Association said: 'Unfortunately this government doesn’t want to move on anything unless we show them that we’re serious. We have to keep moving forward with this action until the government moves.'