In Solidarity at Queen’s Park

On Friday 21 February, all four teacher unions in Ontario united and walked out of classrooms – that is a total of 200 000 members – to show solidarity. The members working in my locale were asked to go and picket at Queen’s Park for one shift. The day dawned with blue skies and crisp air. It was chilly – but not as cold as it had been for previous walkouts.

When I arrived at Queen’s Park, the crowds were already gathering and by 10:15am people filled the closed off streets around the park. The flags of the four unions waved above the heads of educators fighting for the right of a decent public education programme.

I was proud to be standing with the others (it was reported to be over 30 000 bodies at Queen’s Park – including some parents with their children). Children in the province have a right to a decent education without having to pay for it and I was proud to be their voice at the rally.

We walked the route at a slow pace with each turn taking about half an hour. At the end of the day when I arrived home, my feet were aching (winter boots are not made for walking!) but I was satisfied with making a stand.

The teachers of our union, ETFO, have now entered phase 6 of the strike action. No walkouts have been planned but some physical and online picketing are to occur within the next two weeks. Time will tell whether these efforts will make a difference.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Strike Action

Stop Bill 115

It is taking away our democratic right

They say.

Bill 115.

No discussion.

No negotiation.

A direct command to do as we say.

It is undermining our democratic society

They say.

A society that others have fought for

And died for.

They are undermining our professionalism

They say.

Reducing our pay.

Not acknowledging our experience.

Silencing our voices.

It is time to take action:

To fight back against those

Who wish to dictate our actions.

Strike vote.

Solidarity.

Work to Rule.

Strike Action.

Fight against tyranny.

With democracy?

No choice given.

No divide and conquer.

Fight tyranny with dictatorship.

They take away our democratic right

I say.

Our ability to make professional choices.

To make our individual voices be heard.

What are your thoughts on strike action?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012