Dawson Unions Strike Against Austerity
October 30, 2015 | News
On Thursday, the 29th of October, the Dawson Teacher’s Union began the first of six rotating strike days.
The teachers and support staff on strike yesterday were accompanied by the CSN, CSQ and FNEEQ. “It’s great to see teachers and unions coming together at Dawson. We are all here to show a common front,” noted Jesse Binstock, a member of the support staff.
The teachers seemed to become increasingly passionate about their cause as the day went on. Teachers and supporters used cowbells, horns, cheers and help from the horns of passing vehicles. “We didn’t want to strike, but now we have to,” Binstock yelled over the cheers of the crowd.
The Dawson campus was packed with, not only teachers, but students as well. Michael Rolli, a studio arts student, happily stated, “This strike is for current and future students too. The government has to make teachers step forward, not backwards.”
Nick Harvest, a former student and member of the Dawson Student Union (DSU) also exclaimed, “It’s awesome. This first push is for respect and this demonstration is surely going make an impact.”
Some teachers even managed to get a Dawson Dean, Robert Kavanagh, into the street to hold up a sign that read, “Education is a right.” One of the teachers who brought Kavanagh to the street was a chemistry teacher, Yann Briolette, who stated that “82% of teachers voted”: a large majority that was unexpected by some. “It just reinforces my view on the future of this college. We are here all for the quality of education,” Briolette continued.
The next strike days will fall on November 16th and 17th, as well as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December if the government continues to refuse negotiation. The Dawson Teacher’s Union, as well as anyone opposing austerity across the province, can only hope that the vibrant energy of yesterday’s protesters will last until then.