Political support for teacher unions cost students and parents dearly

By Sabrina Almeida

So what’s the best profession to be in at least in Canada right now? You’re right! It’s teaching! You can aspire to reach the sunshine list in a couple of years, almost never have to fear losing your job and have plenty of paid vacation time. Here’s a little something that you may not have known… the mortgage companies love them too. Guaranteed income propels them to the top of the acceptance list.web-teachers
The rest of us can only kick ourselves for making the wrong career move. Me especially… since I was told numerous times that it was “my true calling”. Also my husband never fails to remind me of the misstep every time teacher’s pay and perks come into focus.
I justify my foolishness by saying that I didn’t want to face the ire of the rest of the community and country as a whole. Inwardly I’m seething about lost opportunity and income.
The recent Globe and Mail discovery of the provincial government’s secret million dollar payout to the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation reiterates their powerful and privileged position. It was meant to compensate the union for the cost of negotiations because problems with the province’s new bargaining system caused talks to drag on for so long. Wow!
It is no secret that teacher unions (and others) are important political base for the Liberals and Premier Wynne is alleged to have made the deal to ensure Trudeau’s path to 24 Sussex Drive. Amongst all the lobbying it’s the kids who get kicked to the curb while taxpayers shell out to keep schools open.

We pay for government mistakes

According to the Globe and Mail’s report the provincial government’s newly-instituted collective bargaining process was supposed to simplify and quicken proceedings. Instead it took longer and created more paperwork…
So government in a spirit of Canadian fairness decided to use valuable tax dollars to compensate the teacher union for its mistakes.
Which hat did they pull money out of? To cut a long story short… it was taken from a pool of money set up in 2008 to hire extra staff for programs to help students at risk of dropping out.
Wow again! Words fail me.
Apparently the government doesn’t care about these struggling kids and the teachers can salvage their conscience by claiming ignorance of the money source.

And suffer teachers’ arrogance

With respect to some dedicated teachers (an almost invisible minority), the rest are an entitled bunch who hold kids and their parents to ransom. When the teachers threaten to strike, the government all but trembles. Nobody wants schools to close, especially not the parents many of whom might have to divert a major portion of the household budget towards childcare. So yes, some parents agree teachers must be given what they ask for just to keep their kids in school. As one gentleman rightly said, “It must be about the kids.” But do the teachers feel that way?
Private sector employees are forced to suck it up when told that reduced margins mean no raises or bonuses. They know that any kind if disagreement might cost them their jobs and employment opportunities are shrinking.
But of course the teachers have none of those fears. It is ironic that they should teach lessons in anti-bullying when they are the biggest bullies.

A good teacher is invaluable

A good teacher has no price. I am thankful for the many who moulded my personality and values. They were truly dedicated to their students, for in India teaching was a “noble profession”. It was one of the lowest paying at that time.
Unfortunately my kids have not had that enriching experience. I have to caution to them to be respectful in their conversations about their educators. Most of their teachers did as little as they possibly could.
Worse still is when some teachers narrate their experiences with disinterested and indifferent colleagues.
The result is substandard education, high dropout rate in college and university, rising unemployment and greater dependence on social assistance and more social misfits.
Yes, there are more people choosing to become teachers in Canada, but it’s not for the right reasons. And it’s left to the parents to fill the huge gaps.

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