Thursday, June 02, 2005

Education minister in need of education

Let me get this straight.... - Province suspends funding for 9 boards - From The Toronto Star

... Ontario Education Minister Gerald Kennedy has just pulled money off the table from a nine ongoing negotations with teachers' unions. We can only guess that these are cases where the unions thought they could get more by pressing on with the work to rule.

Says Kennedy however:

“We are definitely moving away from that era of conflict.”

I guess he's right - sure. One side cancels kid's sporting events and refuses to issue proper report cards - and the other side then pulls a pot of money off the table. That isn't conflict, and furthermore freedom is slavery and 2 + 2 =5!

Kennedy obviously believed that his unilateral capitulation and payoff to the teachers - offering a well in excess of recent inflation 10.6% over four years to elementary and secondary teachers - would have bought an "labour peace".

Well - Mr. Kennedy, the teachers' unions are not interested in labour peace. They are in the game to negotiate more money for less work for their members. Conflict and confrontation are the main tools in their arsenal.

1 comment:

Owlb said...

Remember that the Ontario Liberals campaigned in favour of denying the children of non-Catholic Christians in poverty the benefits of educational equality, going against a UN Human Rights decision that Ontario should grant support to all faith-based schools without discrimination. I single out the Christian poor denied their proper education in accord with their own worldview as an opener, because that would be the largest constituency still, in Metro, to benefit from the appropriate pluralization of the school-system/s. I think it's obvious why the Liberal Government, the two religious establishments of Secularist and Roman Catholic Boards of Education, and the teachers unions are all bankrupt in more ways than financial. Provincial Education Minister, Gerald Kennedy, knows damn well all the arguments and data for equity on this precise issue, but he has turned completely technocratic and unprincipled in dealing with it. After all, he serves a Premier who had all the benefits of a Catholic-system education, but who can not respond with honour to the UN Human Rights judgement against the Province of Ontario's educational iniquity/inequity. The teachers unions have their own version of lack of principle, as they are essentially bureaucrats without a unifying vision either for their profession or for the children in the classrooms. Money, more and more, is all they have as a measure of their "career success." I'm one of those who just can't feel at home when teachers are playing work-to-rule games, and skipping out on clubs and sports activity sponsorships.

I hope, Mr J. Albert, that you will keep monitoring the situation festering in the Ministiry of Education in Ontario, and in the schools and teaching professions of these privileged institutions which hog all the money in Hogtown, elbowing out of the spectrum of worldviews financially supported by government, all the others that would come to expression and cultural vitality were we to practice equality here in this city and this province. - Owlb