‘Authorities individuals, spend a day in our faculty’: Provincial strike, native voices


This newspaper spoke with native members of the Ontario Secondary Faculty Lecturers’ Federation throughout Wednesday’s strike. Right here’s a few of what they shared about their causes for being on the picket line.


Brent Howard.

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Brent Howard: Historical past and enterprise instructor at John McCrae Secondary Faculty

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“I’ve been educating for 32 years. Working that lengthy, and seeing how efficient I might be and the way supported the youngsters should be, the category dimension situation (is huge).

“When you will have extra youngsters and fewer academics … I’m apprehensive about not giving youngsters the assistance that they should get. They’re going to get annoyed. After they’re annoyed, they’re not studying.

“The outdated factor — ‘academics simply need extra money,’  I do know it sells nicely from a advertising viewpoint — as a enterprise instructor I can admire that … However no, in discussions I’ve had with my colleagues and workers and on the union, we haven’t actually talked about (cash) as an enormous situation, it’s all the time been about what’s occurring to the classroom.

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“You ask a mum or dad, Would you wish to have your little one in a much bigger classroom? Would you wish to have your little one, who has IEPs (particular person schooling plans) to have much less assist? None of them are answering sure to that. We really feel that we do have a majority of the parental and public assist.”


Jocelyne Strathearn and Rima Eido.

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Jocelyne Strathearn and Rima Eido: Early childhood educators at École élémentaire catholique Elisabeth-Bruyère

Strathearn: “I invite the federal government individuals to spend a day in our faculty. Come spend a day and see.

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“We’ve lessons of like 28 to 30 youngsters and, for instance, you probably have an autistic little one in your class, or a baby with difficulties, nicely one particular person’s taking care of that little one, and the opposite particular person is there to take care of 27.”

Eido: “Final 12 months — half of the category, that they had particular wants and I used to be on my own. I didn’t have any help.

“We’ve to do many issues. We’ve to do our personal analysis, how we may also help these youngsters. This isn’t acknowledged. All of this we’re doing, no person is aware of.”

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Strathearn: “Most of us work after-hours. We do work from home. Our class wouldn’t perform if we didn’t do stuff at house. We will’t do our workload in seven hours, in a day’s work … However we’re there for the youngsters, so we simply hold doing it.”


Connie Regimbald.

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Connie Regimbald: Early childhood educator at L’école élémentaire publique Michel-Dupuis

“They wish to take away our sick depart. I’ve a son with particular wants. Sick depart is vital. Once I first began again in 2003, we had 21 days a 12 months. They took that away, and so they introduced it all the way down to 11 days. If I’m sick, too dangerous, as a result of I’ve bought to maintain it for my son.”

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Suzanne Keple.

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Suzanne Keple: Scholar success instructor at Elizabeth Wyn Wooden Alternate

“The (necessary) on-line programs — my college students actually battle with studying by means of expertise. They like utilizing expertise, however having that be the one technique of studying one thing they have a tendency to close down, get overwhelmed, with too giant of a content material given to them without delay.

“I’ve college students that don’t have Wi-Fi at house. So even speaking with me outdoors of college hours is difficult.

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“With a instructor, we will train them after which they’ll take a paper product house. If they’ve entry to expertise they’ll use that, however to say it’s the one approach that they’re going to have the ability to study — I don’t assume it’s an equal approach of studying.”


Suzan Hoy.

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Susan Hoy: Speech-language pathologist on the Ottawa-Carleton District Faculty Board

“Typically with cuts to schooling, us assist workers we are typically one of many first to be minimize. Our companies aren’t deemed all the time important.

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“In Higher Canada final spring, they minimize half their skilled workers. Thankfully, we’ve managed to maintain our jobs. That’s as a result of our board has managed to make use of their reserve fund to assist the applications. However as soon as these reserve funds run out … We’re apprehensive that our jobs are in danger.

“It is extremely rewarding to have the ability to assist youngsters and to see youngsters who might not in any other case thrive in a college atmosphere. If you happen to give them the precise helps, they’ll do nicely and handle and entry the curriculum the identical approach as a median pupil.”


Patrick Webber.

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Patrick Webber: Chief custodian at Farley Mowat Public Faculty

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“Backside-line, the raises haven’t been maintaining with inflation, and we hold falling additional and additional behind.

“Whereas costs for the whole lot go up, we’ve got much less and fewer to make all these ends meet. I had a home, which happily I’ve been in a position to promote, however there was years in there when it was exhausting to make these funds on it.

“We dwell in a first-world nation. We shouldn’t have issues like that.”

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(Interviews have been edited for size and readability)


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