Banning Teachers From Striking? - Tune Circle

Banning Teachers From Striking?


According to statistics (which I don't have), Ontario is the largest province with the most amount of debt. To fix this problem, a review of the public services was to be done by a hired professional. This professional was Don Drummond, an economist, who conducted a report and called it 'The Drummond Report'. 

This report was over 600 pages long, released in February 2012 and talked in detail about all the public sectors that could need some tweeking. The teachers of Ontario were part of this report. The Drummond Report said to freeze teachers' wages for two years without being able to climb up the salary grid even after additional qualifications. It also wants to take away the sick days from 20 and push it to 6.

The government now is not budging from this and is even imposing a bill to ban teachers from striking and forcing them to take this contract with wages frozen and less benefits. The government is using many reasons by using statements such as the teachers are getting paid too much money and they get lots of time in their summer. A friend of mine sent me this piece of article from an Orillia newspaper that defends the teachers. I think it is worth a read. Here it is:

Clarifications in this teacher/government dispute. Please read.

An Editorial from the Orillia newspaper .....
There is a lot of misinformation about teachers these days. Premier Dalton McGuinty, Education Minister Laurel Broten and Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak are all trying to paint teachers as greedy, bad guys, but here are the facts:

Teachers and the federations accepted a wage freeze months ago. It’s a non-issue.

...Teachers are concerned about the grid (that only helps younger teachers) and the fact that the government is beginning to withdraw from the pension-plan agreement.

What teachers are most concerned about is that this is actually a union busting. It is a way to end collective bargaining. Teachers have not threatened to strike or take any action, but the government is proposing actions to take away teachers’ right to strike. They have not sat down at the table to negotiate. They basically said, “This is what teachers are going to get, and if they don’t accept it, the government will take away their right to oppose us.” That’s not fair and it’s not democratic.

Very, very, very few teachers actually make $95,000 per year. Most teachers who are at the maximum place on the grid actually make $92,000; however, these are teachers who have two degrees, are specialists in their field of endeavour (like special education) and have taught full time for about 15 years. The average pay of a teacher is about $50,000. A constable first class (college diploma) with the OPP makes $83,000 after three years. A university professor makes about $120,000. The high-end pay for a college teacher is $102,000.

Also, teachers cannot increase their pay through overtime. They can only increase their pay by getting another job. Many others, like the police, can get hired on for extra duties (like chaperoning dances, where the teachers are working for free).

Teachers do not get summers off. They take a 20% pay cut throughout the year to pay for the time they are not employed during the summer. If parents and their offspring want to go to school all summer, then let’s talk about year-round school and stop acting like teachers are getting some free ride.

Teachers do not get paid for after-school programs like councils, meetings, sports, clubs, exchange programs or after-hours field trips. Teachers are paid from the start of the school day to the end of the school day. Everything else is a gimme.

Something else that many don’t realize is that because teachers are not working during the summer, most of them are the backbone of summer and community programs.

The Mike Harris government made a complete mess of education and, in many ways, school has never really recovered. For example, arts programs are still running on shoestring budgets and are slowly falling apart. Mr. McGuinty is pretending that he is the one who has created success in our high schools. Despite all of this nonsense, there’s only one person standing in front of the children on the first day back and it isn’t a politician, a trustee, a superintendent or a principal (all of whom make a lot more than a teacher).

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