OTTAWA, Ont. — A long line of about 75 teachers trudged along the snowy sidewalk in front of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board headquarters Wednesday afternoon, as elementary teachers in the capital took part in a one-day walkout to protest Bill 115.
The mood was subdued as the teachers took their turn in the rotating strikes across Ontario, with little cheering or chanting from demonstrators.
“If people were to look at that faces that are walking these lines, I think they should realize that these are not people that are trying to cause trouble,” teacher Mike Partridge told 1310News. “It’s not about money.”
Many teachers like Courtney Watson said they realize how stressful the labour disruption has been for parents.
“It’s not what we want, but our backs are kind of against the wall here. I don’t know what a better option is,” said Watson with a deep sigh. “We just want the rights back that they took from us.”
The union that represents elementary teachers designated people to speak to media, so most walking the picket line weren’t willing to give their thoughts on the walkout.
OCDSB Director of Education Jennifer Adams said the walkout was peaceful and she expected elementary schools to be running as usual on Thursday.
Now word this dispute may spill over into the new year.
The President of Ontario’s Public Elementary School Teachers’ Union tells the Ottawa Citizen, they will stage a political protest across the province in January if the government forces a new contract on members in less than 3 weeks time.