Education Minister Laurel Broten’s decision to impose contracts on Ontario’s teachers and school boards marks the culmination of a dispute that has been damaging to both schools and the Ontario Liberal party.
Whereas Ontario’s school system was once admired around the world, we now have teachers with low morale and schools with no extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, the Liberals face likely defeat at the next election. The tactics employed by Broten during this row were both bad education policy and bad politics. Almost all of this was unnecessary and avoidable.
But didn’t teachers have almost a year to negotiate a new contract? Yes, if by negotiate you mean agree to the government’s rigid terms. These were never real negotiations. From the start, the government insisted on imposing its pre-set terms and warned that it would legislate those terms if the unions did not agree to them. When the unions decided to bargain with school boards instead (they are under no obligation to bargain with the province), the government passed Bill 115 and mandated that any local agreement must match their terms and must be approved by Broten. Is it then surprising that no agreements were reached in this manner?
Too tired to post today -- after being in limbo for the past 48 hours, and then not knowing what to do with my own children until 7 a.m. this morning (yes, imagine, some Ontario Teachers are also parents!) So, in the spirit of our colleague in TDSB, let me instead share the words of someone who more articulately shares some of the REAL issues. (Though -- unlike my former colleague -- I will quote the source below, and give credit!)
From a Star article by Sachin Maharaj -- read more here.
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera now focuses most of her written attention to prolific blogging, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and, more recently, SMARTbansho and Homeschooling 4. Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
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