School for Thought predicts lots of turmoil when contracts come up for negotiation next year AFTER the election naturally. Regardless of who is in government at the time, the province is is serious financial trouble. The Ministry of Education has yet to announce next year's finalized Grants for Student Needs; however, boards have already been warned that expected increases in funding, in almost all areas except teacher salaries and benefits (which are determined by contract), will surely be less than originally forecast.
School For Thought previously reported here and here that the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association had approved a dues increase at their AGM targeted to specifically fight the Tim Hudak PCs in the October provincial election. Yesterday it came to light that OECTA had sent a letter to their members explaining the dues increases and to announce their election campaign "Who Speaks for Children?".
Christina Blizzard in the Toronto Sun has a good column on it, Union Blackmail Ramps Up, where she remarks, "This ad campaign is about ensuring the fat pay, perks and pensions of teachers are preserved and enhanced."
Speaking for children my foot!
The March 31st letter to their members clearly states: "the election of a Conservative Government under Tim Hudak would threaten the common good, particularly education. It was not that long ago that teachers were experiencing disrespect and cuts to education funding under the Harris (and then Eves) Conservatives...Conservatives believe that teacher unions have too much power with the McGuinty government and would move quickly to reduce that influence if elected on October 6...If Tim Hudak gets elected, it is safe to predict teacher negotiators will face hostility at the bargaining table when collective agreements expire on August 31, 2012."
Of course, none of that can be proven to be true, but how is THAT about speaking for children when most of the funding goes to pay for salaries and benefits? The only "common good" they are concerned about is their own. Needless to say, there are many teachers who are incensed about this move to pick their pockets. Time to speak up.
Don't forget to register for Measuring UP School Accountabilty Seminar April 26th in Toronto. If you thought Waiting for Superman was controversial, then you must see Canadian premiere of The Cartel. The early-bird registration price as been extended to Friday and space is limited. Register ONLINE HERE.