Stu­dents held hostage

The Sudbury Star - - OPINION -

This is my re­sponse to Nina Nau­menko, pres­i­dent of OPSEU Lo­cal 655, that “they’re forc­ing an of­fer we don’t agree with and we’re go­ing to vote no on it” (Nov. 10 in The Sud­bury Star).

You state that you have a strong mes­sage to send out there. Well, there are many peo­ple who want to send a strong mes­sage right back at you. Hold­ing our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren ran­som has se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial ram­i­fi­ca­tions.

Send­ing chil­dren to col­lege re­quires tremen­dous plan­ning and fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments. My grand­son worked for a year to save enough money for tu­ition and hous­ing, along with his mother’s fi­nan­cial sup­port. This will now be lost and all for naught.

Please re­mem­ber many stu­dents come from far dis­tances and have to get hous­ing in place, which some­times means pay­ing for a month prior to ac­tu­ally need­ing it. He texted me af­ter hear­ing the bad news, ask­ing: “Who is go­ing to com­pen­sate me for all the money I’ve lost to date?”

Be­ing a mil­len­nial, he points out that many of his friends have par­ents who hold more than one job. And for many stu­dents, hav­ing a part-time job is a re­al­ity of life.

I get your mes­sage. In a per­fect world, I would like to see ev­ery­one with a full-time po­si­tion. I would like to see smaller class sizes so stu­dents can get a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. I, too, would like all the things for which you are fight­ing.

But the re­al­ity is the reg­u­lar folks out here, mean­ing se­niors on fixed in­comes and all the work­ing peo­ple in the pri­vate sec­tor hold­ing more than one job (or for that mat­ter, some can’t find work at all), news flash: we are all strug­gling. The money to cover your de­mands has to come from some­where and guess what, I’m guess­ing some­where down the line, it comes in the form of creative tax grab­bing strate­gies and that means us.

So all we are ask­ing is, don’t hold stu­dents ran­som for your fight. This strike has al­ready done enough fi­nan­cial dam­age. Get to­gether to find a work­ing model that brings in the fi­nan­cial re­al­i­ties of the day to the plan. Get back to teach­ing in the mean­time.

My grand­son shares the feel­ings of many stu­dents. They are stressed out and just want to get back to get­ting ed­u­cated. Bob Hibbs Sud­bury

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