Do I support a one-day political protest –- that will cost me a day’s pay, but perhaps save me tens of thousands of dollars in benefits and salary over the next two decades of my career, or at the very least, send a strong message to the government that they, too, have to follow the law and cannot just do whatever they want, and that will let my students know that things that are important are worth protesting -- alongside my 76 000 colleagues?
I was able to answer this question online in less than five minutes, as I quickly reviewed the facts and cast my ballot.
Information sharing is critical, of course, so that members can make informed decisions. (I have been talking with colleagues and reading reports both in the media and from my federation for the past 4 months on the topic of bill 115!) And of course there is value to physically standing beside a large number of one’s colleagues while collectively hearing an important message. But in this day of online video conferencing and other technological advances, there are times when the dissemination of information and collection of relevant opinions can be far more efficiently done via such means than in person.
Desperation breeds ingenuity it seems, as our union managed to get the message out, and is collecting 76 000 people’s votes online today and tomorrow.