“Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”
Earlier on this evening, as the September sun fell into a blood red sky, John Abbott College teachers voted 89% in favor of a strike—with the largest voter turnout I’ve ever seen at a union meeting. We’ve just given our union representatives an overwhelming mandate, a big stick which they can take to the bargaining table with them. Let’s hope they don’t have to use it.
The core issues involved in this strike vote don’t really have anything to do with the paycheck deposited into my account every two weeks. It’s about pencil-pushing bureaucrats who’ve never set foot in a classroom telling trained professionals how to do their jobs. It’s about the vast majority of my younger colleagues who are still living precariously contract to contract after years of loyal service. It’s about classes that have gone from 25 to 45. This isn’t about the money; it’s about honour and respect.
—John Faithful Hamer