Students continue protest at CASSFriday, October 05, 2012 by: Carol Martin
About 30 students braved near-freezing temperatures and very cold rain to continue the protest at Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) again yesterday and today.
Most were out on their lunch breaks but a core group of chilly, dedicated students have continued the protest since Wednesday morning.
Shown is a photo of students from Thessalon public school, in grades 4-8, who were out to show support for the the students of CASS.
"They are protesting against bill 115" said the loyal SooToday.com reader who sent us the picture. "They hope that the government will reconsider bill 115, because its had an impact on school sports."
Algoma District Superintended of Education Asima Vezina said the protest has continued safely and without incident.
"The only reason a student would be suspended,' she said. "Is if their actions placed themselves or others in danger. No suspensions have been issued in relation to the protest."
Vezina said the students have been very polite, respectful and peaceful.
"They have demonstrated excellent character throughout the demonstrations," she said. "The parents and teachers have also been very supportive."
Many of the students involved in the protest have made arrangements with their teachers to complete assignments and projects over the long weekend ensuring they don't fall behind.
"That's what we're focusing on, now," said Vezina. "Making it clear to the students that they should keep up with their studies and return to school."
This afternoon, many of the students protesting entered the school to participate in a long running tradition at CASS.
The Grind is a fundraiser that has continued at the school every year for more than 30 years.
Because it's part of the intramural program, which is unaffected by the teachers current labour actions against Bill 115, the event took place as scheduled today.
Justin Tetreault 10/5/2012 4:28:29 PM Report
I like how people try to spin these protests as supporting the teachers and against the government.
Students are pissed that their teachers have stopped participating in extra-curricular sports.
Bill 115 doesn't mandate that teachers not coach sports. That was the selfish decision of the teachers themselves.
And instead of taking the word of a "reader", why doesn't Soo Today do some actual reporting and ask the kids themselves why they are upset.
Dictionary 10/5/2012 4:39:40 PM Report
tow that line justin. tow that line.
Dictionary 10/5/2012 4:42:29 PM Report
p.s. I applaud the students protesting. They obviously aren't given a vote so they feel the need to express how their education is being handled by BOTH sides! the government has circumvented the teachers rights and the teachers have compromised their post-secondary experience as a form of protest (since the gov't has stripped them of collective bargaining and striking rights)...
In a few years, these kids will be able to vote, and they won't forget.
northwoodson 10/5/2012 5:16:48 PM Report
I would have done anything to skip class.....
Barriver 10/5/2012 5:21:38 PM Report
WOW.... Teachers selfish because they will not volunteer their time after they have been stripped of the right to collectively bargain? Selfish after banked sick days from a previous contract have been stripped? I would really love to see your VOLUNTEER Resume. When was the last time you coached a team and put in countless hours? Unbelieveable ... But I'm not surprised
SherK 10/5/2012 5:33:03 PM Report
Paid sick days are NOT paid holidays!!!Get over it..You already get more holidays than anyone else. Why can't people be thankful, tis the season!!!!I do believe there should be some incentive for volunteer hours. I had many coaches that mentored me!!!
Barriver 10/5/2012 5:48:02 PM Report
The school year is dictated by the board of education. It has NOTHiNG to do with the teachers. Believe me if I had the choice I wouldn't want to have " the summer off" I would like to be able to take a holiday when it isn't the two most expensive times of the year, or add a day on to a weekend. You don't need to be a hater, teacher's college is accepting applications everyday. Come on it's an easy job right?? Or wait maybe you should homeschool your kids... Like I said easy right?
sc36 10/5/2012 6:13:38 PM Report
Talk is that Hockey may still be a go!!!! Where is the fairness in this??? What about basket ball, Dance, Volleyball are they not all equal???? I think that the teachers have no Huskey Spirit!! Another Question what happens to sports scholorships??? Teachers are looking out for themselves and thats all?? Some kids looked up to them as leaders. Where are they leading them and what message are they passing on?? Maybe the message is take care of yourself no matter who it hurts!!
sc36 10/5/2012 6:14:42 PM Report
The picture is the Thessalon Public School Students showing there support
Norm 10/5/2012 7:01:24 PM Report
Funny yesterday police said kid's protesting would be charged for impeding traffic if they stepped on the highway. In other words stay on the shoulder. Also funny that when the natives block the highway, also Great Northern Rd, nothing to that effect is said. Funny eh!
Tom_Bom 10/5/2012 8:09:43 PM Report
I think the more the youth learn the corruption and wrong doings of the current government, the better chance we have to create a better future. I applaud these kids for taking up a cause and learning about the power of civil disobedience.
Fight the power guys!
prodigal son 10/5/2012 8:23:17 PM Report
Once again, Justin looks like a 12 year old boy making a political argument.You have a shot at winning over the 7-11 yr. olds.
Zarm27 10/5/2012 8:37:48 PM Report
Grades 4-8 in the picture.... Where did they hear about the issues being discussed? The teachers out in Thessalon should feel ashamed for using class time to speak about a biased view to impressionable youth.
little lulu 10/5/2012 9:45:09 PM Report
zarm...do your kids go to the school in thessalon? do you think maybe the students could have heard from parents, siblings or the media...maybe think before rushing to judgement...
Dictionary 10/5/2012 10:29:20 PM Report
This is the same Justin T. that a month ago tried to suggest he ISN'T a liberal party member (and subsequently a liberal homer)... This despite his sootoday bio highlighting his many contributions to the liberal party in his few years. Why don't YOU go ask the students why they are protesting?
As an aside, what's Orazietti going to do when he's voted out? Return to his previous profession? OH wait!!! AWWWWWWWKWARD!
opinionated 10/5/2012 10:45:56 PM Report
The natives gave prior notice in order to protest, the kids didn't. While I appreciate what they did / are doing, they had to be kept off the highway because no safety measures were taken prior.
Either way, this isn't the point of all this.
Yes some of the students ARE probably just "pissed" about their extracurricular activities, but I'm sure the majority of them know the reasoning behind it and that is what they're protesting. Sure bill 115 doesn't mandate they not coach sports, Their contract doesn't say they have to either, it was just that, volunteer/extracurricular. The Liberals are the ones trying to USE the students as an excuse. Unfortunately THEY are the ones hurting the students.
Its no one's fault except the silly Liberals you seem to be brainwashed by, Justin.
Zarm27 10/6/2012 12:37:19 AM Report
lil lu, Ithink it is much more likely that a parent who could possibly spend 6 hours of time in a well adjusted household would waste the time alloted to egg their kid on. For arguments sake I'll admit the area that is mentioned has little to discuss period, so maybe you're right and it's some "busy body" down there allowing children to protest a concept they don't fully realise. The fact is there's children wasting time at a centre where they're expected to be taught "within" guidelines. I'd be surprised if theperson who took/submitted the picture and the submitting of the article wasn't in some way connected to said school. All I know is a parent is not going to spend the first possible hour of their childs waking talking about the issue at hand. Personally I think more accountability should be forced on teachers, give them all the pay increases they want but if they fail the proper protocol then simply fire DESPITE the union using tactics to form a noose around "soceity". Friggin people need to see soceity and economy as seperate states when using it to justfy their decisions.
little lulu 10/6/2012 11:39:48 AM Report
Zarm, First of all, it's clear by your statement regarding pay increases that you have not given this topic more than a jaded, one sided read in favour of the government. It is a HUGE topic that has the potential to affect many and should be discussed so that people can form RATIONAL and LOGICAL opinions. I know that the adsb has informed all educational staff to NOT discuss the subject of this bill with students. OF course there will be people who don't follow this, but I feel that the vast majority of teachers don't wish to rock the boat...especially right now! And it's spelled society..not sure what you were trying to get at with your last point but it's more like the government is tying a noose around the educational workers necks, leaving few options be heard and be given the right to NEGOTIATE a new contract....pay raises are again NOT THE ISSUE!! sigh
Linkeed 10/6/2012 2:39:56 PM Report
While it must seem unfair to teachers that this bill has been passed, cutting initiatives for student enjoyment at school is only taking out your frustration on students. This is rather narrow minded of them.
In addition, Ontario is over two hundred billion dollars in debt, and teachers are government employees. What does a teacher think is going to happen when their government is that much in debt?
Surely they don't expect to get a raise?
The money they're being paid doesn't even exist; the government doesn't own the money they're getting. This was really just a matter of time. Furthermore, an issue like this isn't going to go away because students are being incited to protest with signs that say "***k the gov't!". The issue is far more economic than this, and teachers know it.
In fact, it states right in the bill that this bill has been released because of significant 'financial challenges' in Ontario, which is a nice way of saying that there is No. Money. To. Be. Paying. These. Teachers.
Why can't they protest this bill? Because protesting over something that isn't available to attain isn't going to change anything. Crying over spilt milk doesn't un-spill. And besides, teachers aren't even having their wages cut. They just aren't getting raises.
And with all due respect, teacher salaries have increased by 34% since 2004 (The Sault Star). In comparison with the 16.2% increase in inflation since 2004, it doesn't really appear as if teachers have been losing money at all (TheBankOfCanada). In addition, with 120 days of sick leave paid at 90% of your regular rate, I'm having trouble seeing the controversy with sick days? (Legislative Assembly of Canada). In fact, it seems like teachers are substantially ahead, and since Ontario is expected to be in less dire straights by 2018, it doesn't seem like teachers are really roughing it so hard.
Maybe we could stop with the hissy fits? This is absolutely ridiculous for people in authority to act this way. Grow up, and yes, there's a pun intended.
little lulu 10/6/2012 4:39:39 PM Report
another person who cannot get past the issue of money....I am a teacher...and I DO NOT WANT MORE MONEY!!!!!! I can also confirm that this is the sentiment of my colleagues....you have presented the facts regarding money only...can you now speak to the fact that the government is more powerful than the human rights code and unions??
Zarm27 10/6/2012 7:48:39 PM Report
Since you're a teacher, what are the reasons behind all the strikes in the past 10 years? Ontario teachers are paid very well, second only to Alberta, I had read it increased 40% since '03, but that's not the point. The unions prior to the bill being created were refusing to agree to terms that were best for Canada's economy at this point in time. Do I like the Government? Not particularly due to overspending and some poor choices. However rather than sitting at the table as a mature Canadian, the unions decide to threaten the hand that feeds like a spoiled child not wanting their vegetables but screaming for just cake for dinner. Now, the bill, I do not agree with it, and I do think it's unfair, but it was necessary which is unfortunate. The only reason I'm not wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, is because I feel that teachers have adequate benefits and should look at the larger picture instead of just their pockets.
little lulu 10/6/2012 9:41:05 PM Report
Zarm, I can only speak from my own experiences and from what I know. I have been teaching for five years and there has not been a strike for this amount of time. Again, it's not about money. We are paid well, we do have great benefits and we do get alot of time off. The issue is this; when the government sat down to negotiate with teacher's unions, it was a take it or leave it scenario. Rather take it or we (the government will enforce it). This is the information that I have been given, and I have also tried my best to read other perceptions and accounts in the media and I am still finding a common thread. The government has enforced a contract, making them more powerful than any union. This in itself should scare all people. The process of negotiating involves give and take. In this instance, it was all take. I hope you can see past the wage issue as it has never been one.
catmom 10/6/2012 10:24:57 PM Report
Thanks, little lulu, you have said everything I wanted to say, very well. As teachers, this protest of Bill 115 is NOT about wages, it is about a government removing our right to bargain collectively. Every citizen of Ontario should be appalled by the government's actions. We did not have a genuine opportunity to bargain in good faith with out employer. Both sides were willing to sit down and negotiate a fair collective agreement, which would have taken into account the province's ability to pay but Dalton doesn't trust us and decided that he knows best. This scares me and it should scare you, if you live in Ontario.
Zarm27 10/7/2012 12:46:05 AM Report
For clarification purposes, during the summer the negotiations were stalemated with the government basing their calculations on the year ahead involving all required funding. The cuts we've been seeing is to reduce the deficit, the effect it's had in regards to teachers is minimal, the current "bill" they enforced was to prevent another strike. Beating a dead horse here, but the fact is if we would like to see this country succeed then all members should be on board instead of squabbling over useless points. This isn't directed at just teachers, but any Canadian facing it. Any government funded position is paid by taxes, factor in how many in this town buy gas across the border and you'll see drastic changes. We are a consumer based economy, the education system is a service, the fact is the deficit and not "rights". The threat made by the union would be at the very start of the schoolyear, it was their threat that made the bill.....
speed7 10/7/2012 1:42:15 AM Report
Norm, The seperatists need not complain. They got 30 million in federal money. Problem is their freakin leaders took it all and bought houses cars, boats, buisnesses and those poor people still dont have a pot to piss in. O Happy Canada eh? The rest of us struggling to pay the bills. What is Canada? Its the working class. Me you teachers, doctors, lawyers, dentists everyone! The government is ripping through us all Canadians!
speed7 10/7/2012 2:00:28 AM Report
Thanks Catmom and Lulu. If the kids decide to do their own protest fine but on school property. Also I agree that anything involving the bill doesnt not need to be discussed in the classroom. No room for that and its not the place for it.
The government is breaking down unions bottom line and it will be reciprocated across the spectrum. This is going to hurt everyone not just one proffession. If some of you cant get past teacher vacation days , income, and paid holdays go ahead. It goes beyond that scope. It only shows some people cant use there own mind and figure it out for themselves? Even the riduculously tainted media has to think for you? Pretty sad.
little lulu 10/7/2012 9:59:21 AM Report
Zarm, I don't know but it seems like you are still talking money.....and I don't think I can get through to you.....we wanted to negotiate, not be told this is what you get....we had agreed to a pay freeze to do our part.....there are many other factors and issues to be considered when negotiating a contract...not just wages, and like i said, we were willing to take a wage freeze....
seafoam 10/7/2012 10:52:37 AM Report
Just consider this ..... teachers are parents too.
speed7 10/7/2012 11:13:15 AM Report
Yes teachers absolutely were willing to take a wage freeze. Also knowhere in there contract does it say they are mandated to perform extra curricular activities after school hours.
It all done with volunteered time. They do it because they like to, not because they have to. Its not a requirement. Anyone with a union would do the same thing. Your jealousies and selfish attitude is only amplified when you keep posts untruths about the proffesion.
Just my opinion.
Norm 10/7/2012 7:24:56 PM Report
Teachers hated Mike Harris, now they hate Dalton, they would despise Andrea Horwath too, if she stood up to them. The Ontario Grits have overspent, very foolish of them, no money left for taxpayer funded employees. There are thousands of retired baby boomers who don't pay a lot of taxes. It's a very different story than what we were once used to. Get over it teachers. You can continue to have a pretty decent lifestyle with the current salaries.
little lulu 10/7/2012 9:15:01 PM Report
Norm, have you read any of the past ten comments? about it not being about the money??? or do you even care to hear another side of the story.....if you are intelligent and open minded, please scroll up and read...if not, stay ignorant and keep that hatred for teachers burning....I love my job, I love the kids and cannot imagine doing anything else....
SherK 10/7/2012 11:22:06 PM Report
I voiced an opinion and did not bring hate or hostility into it, you did. I sure am glad you weren't one of my teachers. Good luck with your future mentoring!!
speed7 10/8/2012 12:21:58 AM Report
Norm , All parties postions have changed now. Havent you noticed? Its slash and cut, towing the party line. Does it make any difference now, who teachers voted for in the past? No. And your point is???????
If you beleive that teachers have such a decent lifestyle why are you not doing it yourself? Join the ranks. There's nothing like putting your own words into action.
Linkeed 10/9/2012 1:34:27 PM Report
Thank you. Reading your comments has changed my opinion; particularly since nearly everything in them is truthful. I still believe that cuts, and freezes, may even be required due to debt, but not at the cost of important human rights. As a high school student myself, I realise that if my ability to collectively bargain were taken away, that I would be completely discouraged. While I still see the reasoning behind these cuts, I'm troubled to see that negotiations were already under way at the time Bill 115 was passed. I hope David O. will consider amending his decision in the future.