Strike Notes, Part One

Today is a “study session” day in BC, and tomorrow is the first day of full fledged strike action. Over this past month or so, we’ve had a few days off unexpectedly due to rotating strike action, and now talks have fallen apart and we’re onto the next stage of full-on strike action, and Kale is basically done school with a fizzle and a whimper.

I deemed today a TV day, where Kale could fart around in his jammies and gorge on TV and toast. It feels like the first day of summer vacation (and may or may not actually be the first day of vacation), so I thought that seemed like a luxurious and fun thing to do. I figured I could blast away at the work I needed to do, with only minimal guilt about a screen-as-a-sitter, and then we’d find something active to do together later.

An hour ago, just after lunch, Kale announced he was bored of TV. Already. Yikes. Gonna be a long summer. (For the record, he’s now reading a Scaredy Squirrel book so I’m blogging quick-like because my work for the day is done and one must make hay while the sun shines, right?).

I was just thinking, though, about how this strike impacts us. This strike impacts our family, both, financially and emotionally.

Emotionally, it impacts my family as Kale was given little time to prepare for the end of the year. His teacher has been amazing all year long, hugely committed to him as a person, open, collaborative, and communicative. Flat out, I could not have asked for a better experience as a kindergarten parent an Kale has loved school since day one. Kale is an adaptive kid, and while he is sensitive, he is incredibly resilient. But I don’t know if all 21 of his classmates are the same. There are two special needs students in his class – I don’t know how they will fare with this abrupt end to the year, and I worry that someone will get left behind, even if only a little bit.

It impacts us financially, too. I’ve booked childcare for tomorrow and Thursday, and Ross will take Wednesday off work, and next week we’ll cobble together something else with the mom herd I’ve built around me. I’m lucky – we’re a middle income family with a bit – not much, but enough – wiggle room that allows me to drop unplanned money for childcare, and Ross happens to have a family-friendly employer that gives him flexibility with his schedule. It also means we earn less – either I need to work a bit less (or later at night – so long, productivity) or Ross needs to take some time off of work, or both. I know not all families can do this, and consider us lucky.

I still support Kale’s teachers. I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are working for his benefits and with his interests in mind. But this is frustrating. And as time goes on, and less contact is made with the teachers face-to-face as we drop our kids off and pick our kids up, what will happen? Families will feel the pinch more and more and simply be unable to keep up the brave attitude and will start asking them to just hurry up and compromise.

No one wins here. No one.

4 years ago

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