It’s ironic that only under Ontario Liberal Priemier Kathleen Wynne’s leadership that we have teachers, parents and students striking at the exact same time.
To further the irony, it can be argued that public sector unions, most notably the biggest that represent Ontario teachers won the last provincial election for Wynne. And now it seems that Karma has thrown the wayward unions under the proverbial school bus. Front line teachers, nurses and other government employees are only now reacting to the dog & pony show the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats warned us about in that infamous election of June 2014.
The PC’s under Tim Hudak shot themselves in the foot with a promise to ‘fire’ 100,000 public sector employees. While he wasn’t going to hand out pink slips, as the positions would be eliminated through attrition, he didn’t win any friends with the big labour unions that seem to be running the show in this once mighty province of Ontario. But you already knew that; that’s old news.
Fast forward to today… nurses are being fired. Teachers are striking. In Ottawa, teachers are protesting failed contract negotiations by refusing to perform administrative duties such as administering the standardized testing and not commenting on students’ report cards. In the Durham region, teachers have fully withdrawn services threatening high school student’s graduation.
Very slowly, but it does seem surely, the Ontario Liberal Government is realizing the province is out of money. We can’t keep up with the demands of the public sector unions.
Something to think about: the average teacher salary in Michigan is $62,631. The average teacher salary here in Ontario is $89,614. And those amounts do not reflect the benefits that teachers receive; that’s just base pay.
Yes, I understand that teachers work more than just ten months of the calendar year; professional development and various other administrative tasks they must perform account for much of the time spent outside the classroom. I also realize that teachers are entrusted with our most precious resource: Our Children.
When I talk to teachers and ask them what their concerns are, how they can justify a strike action position, you know what the majority of them tell me? “We don’t want this.” Indeed many, and I would argue the majority of teachers, do not support the current strike action campaigns. But their hands are tied, the union said ‘jump’; all the teachers can do is ask, “how high?”
So now we come full circle. The various unions’ brass is demanding more and more from the finite resources that is the taxpayer. And now we have a government that has been in bed with the unions that is beginning to see what Hudak saw… it may just be time to start firing some people. The province is going bankrupt… you really want to help our students? Stop asking for more more more!
Teachers, and indeed other unionized professionals in the public sector need to spend more time demanding accountability and transparency with how their dues are spent than picketing a line, holding our children hostage; if the members of the various public sector unions actually stood up to their leadership and proclaim, “STOP FORCING AN AGENDA ON US”, I bet you dollars to donuts, the court of public opinion will back them.
Something else worthy to note is that upper management across a litany of public sector institutions are the individuals that make up the Ontario ‘Sun-Shine List’. When wait times are out of control, and we’re firing nurses, but the C.E.O. of a PUBLIC hospital takes home over $100,000/yr + benefits, ask yourself… where can we find the real savings?
And when teachers are picketing the line, demanding more benefits, etc., and the upper echelons of management are walking away with an excess of $100k/yr, ask yourself, “where can we find the real savings”?
Math scores in this province are down. Most students can’t pass a basic math test. Yet Wynne’s Liberal government doesn’t seem interested in tackling that issue. Will this government finally stand up to the unions that got them back into power? Or will they cater to Union demands?
Hydro rates are out of control, many families are forced to chose between heat and lights or putting food on the table. Yet, hydro executives at OPG, HydroOne, etc. are walking away with, yep you guessed it, a paycheck in excess of $100,000.
Parents are pulling their kids out of school to protest the introduction of this new, radical sexual education curriculum.
Only under Kathleen Wynne do we see a simultaneous strike action by parents, teachers and students.
Big labour and more importantly, our Ontario government better start re-evaluating its priorities.
Our healthcare system is going bankrupt due to mismanagement and irresponsible priorities, our hydro system is a mess for the same reasons. And the education file? Well, lets just say that our kids might not be able to tell you what one plus one equals, but they will soon be able to tell you all about the so-called, ‘six different genders’.
Give your head a shake Ontario… re-evaluate your priorities.
Ontario: Yours to Recover