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Dawson Teachers Vote On Strikes

by Micko Benrimoh


September 30, 2015 | News


On Tuesday the 29th of September, Dawson teachers voted on whether or not to join multiple high schools and CEGEPS across the province in opposition to recent cuts and austerity measure taken by the provincial government.  Talk hasn’t been all to present amongst the student population, but the opposite is true for the teachers and faculty at Dawson, as “Nego” pins could be seen being worn by many.

The results showed that Dawson teachers and staff voted 82.2% in favour of holding a strike day to protest austerity measures aimed at the education sector. This was too be expected.  Unlike the Dawson student strike vote last year the failed to pass 60-40, the teacher vote was expected to certainly pass since the idea came about due to the presence and amount of demonstrations that have already taken place.

This means that Dawson will join other schools in a day of protest next week on Wednesday October 6th.  Other English CEGEPS have already voted in favour of strikes, including Vanier, which voted yes in the student strike vote last year, and John Abbott College. Both the French school boards and English Montreal school boards have long since voted in favor of strikes, perhaps due to the fact that they have been hit the hardest by cuts and provincial austerity measures.

The English Montreal school board has taken the most measures to protest the measures taken by the Couillard government, by cutting all after school activities, ranging from school proms to theatre productions.

The specifics of the cuts include Increase in teacher-student ratio, Elimination of allocated funds toward schools’ programs for special-needs children, Abolition of 800 resource-teacher and special-education teacher jobs. Salary freeze for two years (the teachers are asking for 13.5 per cent over three years). Cuts to teacher and faculty pension plans.

Dawson was the last school to vote on whether or not to hold strikes, with the rest of Montreal area CEGEPS and school boards have already held votes, all of which voted in favor of holding period of strikes in October, displaying the severity of the situation and putting pressure on the Liberal government to take action.

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