The campaign centres on raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour and securing basic benefits like paid sick days for all workers.
The teachers (Kate Curtis, Jason Kunin and Seth Bernstein) drew connections between the challenges they see some kids facing in their classrooms and the precarious, low-wage work available to those kids’ family members.
We know as teachers that kids from poorer homes are more likely to struggle in school. It makes sense: those kids often deal with problems associated with poverty like food insecurity, uncertain living situations, increased stress and fewer opportunities for extra help or enrichment activities.
Hollywood tells us (and many teachers internalize) that the way to fix this is for charismatic super-teachers to parachute into poor neighbourhoods and teach the kids to grit their teeth and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
There’s nothing wrong with striving to be a great teacher, of course; but we also shouldn’t see poverty as something inevitable.
Canada is one of the most unequal countries for children (among wealthy countries), ranking 26th out of 35 countries with no improvement in the last 10 years, according to a new UN study.
Kids are poor because their parents are poor. If we want to help our kids succeed, we can advocate for strong policies to eradicate poverty, like raising minimum wages to an amount people can live on.
Nova Scotia’s Fair Wage Coalition participated in the national Fight for 15 day of action last Friday. Let’s get our province’s teachers on board too.