A day off for kids, a day to speak out for teachers
Published Friday, November 9, 2012 6:23PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 9, 2012 6:39PM EST
Many students across Waterloo Region were off school for a Professional Activity Day on Friday, but many of their teachers were busy outside the classroom.
They gathered in Kitchener to protest outside Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy's office, who recently stepped in as minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
The idea was to 'prorogue' his office, just as the legislature was prorogued in October.
The teachers wanted to make the point that they're still not pleased with Bill 115, which freezes their wages and permits the government to impose contracts on them.
They say Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is running away from the province's problems by stepping down and proroguing the legislature.
The protesters also want to make it clear that their right to collective bargaining has been taken away and they are fighting back by cancelling extra-curricular activities and through 'selective' job action.
"At the moment many OSSTF bargaining units around the province are in a legal strike position. Here in Waterloo we will be starting sanctions as of Monday…Unless we hear differently [we] will be going ahead Monday morning," says Rob Gascho, president of OSSTF District 24.
That strike action would include asking teachers to skip staff meetings and to avoid communicating with parents outside of school hours.
However, the union adds, the action would not disrupt any classes or extra-curricular activities.