Last Updated on: 7th September 2022, 03:43 pm
They haven’t come right out and said it, but you don’t just have the province’s education minister toss a column into a widely read newspaper especially not one with a conservative slant like the Toronto Sun that’s going to be sympathetic to an anti-union message without having some sort of inclination in that direction.
Yes, students have a right to learn. But the people who make sure that learning happens also have a right to be paid. Education workers, whatever their role, are the sorts of people that you almost can’t overpay based on what’s expected of them. Five days a week, ten months a year, they are tasked with raising everyone’s children. They take care of them before and after school. They keep them safe. They teach them important life skills and life lessons. They have fun with them. They counsel them. They take them on trips. Run their sports and music programs. They do everything possible to help them grow into responsible members of society. And then they go home and take care of their own families. Most of us wouldn’t last a week doing what they do. And yet, we have this god awful provincial government out here in public picking fights with them, threatening to strip them of their rights and treating them as though they should be happy taking whatever scraps we feel like giving them and shutting up. They treat healthcare workers similarly, they just aren’t always as noisy about it.
To be clear, I’m not saying cave on every single union demand. But actually negotiating in good faith would be nice. Basically, the opposite of what you’re doing with the blustering and the hard caps on salaries, maybe try that. You might even find that qualified people want to keep working for you.
As the summer draws to a close, families are looking forward to the beginning of another school year.
After years of pandemic disruptions and what feels like never-ending education union strikes, children and their parents deserve an uninterrupted return to normal.
Our commitment is clear: we will stand up for your child’s right to learn, from September right to June. Nothing is more important.
Education unions need to get on board with keeping kids in class without disruption, instead of strikes and withdrawal of services. These are not subtle threats. Language like, “if we do not get our 52% wage hike demand, then expect strikes” is what some would call ‘schoolyard bullying.’
Students need to be front and centre in these negotiations. Instead, at least one union is pushing an increase in wages and benefits that is more than the combined education budgets of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.