Halton Teachers Strike!

Teachers strike outside of Kevin Flynn, MPP for Oakville’s Office in Bronte

Teachers strike outside of Kevin Flynn, MPP for Oakville’s Office in Bronte

Having just left the teachers’ strike outside Kevin Flynn’s office in Bronte, you definitively get the feeling that the teachers feel very strongly about Bill 115. The line of teachers went from East Street to Jones in Bronte Village.  I spoke the longest with two teachers who gave me a better understanding of what this particular strike means to Halton Teachers.

Cecile Leach (R) & Daliah Brown (L)

Cecile Leach & Daliah Brown are not fighting over money or the banking of sick days – they are picketing over their rights to negotiate their contracts and not be legislated back to work. From the countless published articles from the Oakville Beaver to the Globe & Mail, one of the difficult issues to comprehend was the concept that teachers were able to  bank sick days, and for days not taken they would receive a gratuity. This concept does not apply to Halton teachers who gave up the gratuity in the early 2000′s. That eliminates that issue.

There is also no issue as it relates to income. The teachers have already agreed to a pay freeze, earlier this year. So our children are out of school over a principle – the right to strike. As the teachers explained it to me, ” We are fighting for our democratic right to negotiate, which is something we teach our children”.

After having had a chance to speak with them, I’m sympathetic. If you are still wondering what this strike is all about – speak to your child’s teacher. Maybe this whole issue will be resolved quickly, so that our children can get back to the class rooms and their complete school activities.

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