By Summun Jafri
Public elementary school teachers across Ontario have been rotating in a series of one-day strikes this week. On Tuesday staff in Toronto, Durham, Peel, Waterloo, among other districts, walked off the job. In total 35,000 teachers are taking part in the strike, which is expected to affect about 328,000 students spanning across 748 schools.
Teachers are protesting Bill 115, which is titled the “Putting Students First Act.” After reading the title of the Bill I can’t say I’m shocked that teachers are so opposed to it…after all, they’re just trying to look out for themselves right? The act prevents teachers from striking and freezes wages for most, with the exception of new teachers. The union says that the act violates the teacher’s rights to collective bargaining, as the act gives the government the power to impose a new collective agreement on teachers.
It’s unfortunate to see that teachers have been unable to resolve these issues without having to affect the education of the young students. And while some students are probably thrilled by the fact that they’re getting to miss some school, their parents are the least bit enthused. For many parents, the strike meant having to make alternate arrangements for their children such as finding childcare or taking a day off from work themselves.