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Teachers hope to influence the Ministry of Education with walk-off strikes.
If you speak to any teacher, they will tell you how amazing their job is and how enjoyable it is, despite how challenging it can be. They love going to work every day and being able to guide and educate the next generation to better their futures and the future of the world. However, the budget cuts threaten to make their difficult job even more difficult by increasing class size, and also cutting down on the amount of resource staff in the school. The resource staff directly effects the special needs program and any child who may need that little extra nudge of help.
The teacher unions also voted in favour of a 13% salary increase. The government counter offered a salary increase of 3% over 5 years. With this, it would increase 0% for the first two years, and then 1% over the following 3 years. This isn’t even the cost of living.
Many events have taken place due to the strike, which has received great participation from teachers, parents, and support staff, among many others. There have been multiple human chain initiatives that have taken place in the morning before school starts at Heritage Elementary School in Huntingdon. Here, parents, teachers, support staff and students are invited to join hands and create a barrier around the school. On October 28th, the NFSB teachers from the Chateauguay Valley took to the streets of Ormstown at the 201/138 intersections in Ormstown on a very cold and wet morning with picket signs, noisemakers and lots of energy. As of November 2nd, the NFSB has announced that its next strike days will take place on November 12th and 13th. On the twelfth, teachers will be picketing in Montreal outside the Ministry of Education building. The following day, they will return to the 201/138 intersections in the morning.
There has been a lot of parental support for teachers regarding the ridiculous cuts and changes that the Ministry of Education is proposing. It clearly has also been difficult for parents who have had to take days off work or find alternative care for their children. The strike is not just affecting teachers and those working in the school board, but parents and students are also in the line of fire. Students are missing out on six days of education, which may seem like a lot, but that’s nothing to the proposed changes that the Ministry of Education plans to bring in.