New Brunswick students boycott online learning in solidarity with CUPE strikers
As the second week of the CUPE strike continues in New Brunswick, some students were boycotting online learning on Friday.
"It's all things that we already know, we don't learn anything, it's not amusing, we kind of just waste our time," said Grade 6 student Renata Solano.
Ecole Sainte-Anne students came out to support local CUPE members.
"It really was important to show our support. This has been going on for two weeks, the strike has been going on and it's really time to say enough is enough,” said Eliot Burgeron, a Grade 12 student.
"It's really been used more as a tool, not to better our education, but a tool to avoid the negotiations with the CUPE workers and really what we want here is better conditions, better salaries, everything that CUPE is asking for we want for them to give and then we'll be ready to go back to school. But as long as the strike is on, the school is off.”
Students have been learning online, from home since Nov. 1.
"Online learning takes such a toll on our mental health and our motivation to learn and it's such a slap in the face that we're doing online school when we have the resources to be in person. We don't have COVID stopping us from being in person,” said Josh Dukuze, who is in Grade 12.
The call to boycott school on Friday in support of CUPE members was circulated online earlier this week.
"We shouldn't be used as an excuse so that (Premier Blaine) Higgs can get away without bargaining and just putting if off by saying our curriculums are advancing. We really want to show our support here to CUPE and that we respect them and we hope that they get what they deserve,” said Hayden Mills, a Grade 12 student at Ecole Sainte-Anne.
Opposition leaders, much like the students say they hope to see a resolution to the strike soon.
"That's no way to learn. The online system in a crisis situation. When you have a lockdown that's one thing, when there's no alternative. But the alternative is, to open schools. We've got the teachers, we've got the education assistants who are designated as essential,” said David Coon, Leader of New Brunswick Green Party.
Negotiations continued on Friday.
"The parents are struggling to make the decision of what to do, do they stay home or go to work? And that's why we've been very, very, very aggressive in pushing the premier to get back to the negotiating table,” said Roger Melanson, Leader of New Brunswick Liberal Party.
For now only time will tell if students will be back in the classroom Monday morning.