More than 30,000 school teachers in the third largestschool districtofUnited Statesare on strike. The issue between Mayor of Chicago and Chicago school teachers is evaluating teacher performance and the right of Principals to choose their teaching team.
Here inOntario, teachers insist that they were never planning on going on a strike. Nonetheless, Back to School legislation has been passed by Ontario MPPs with 82 MPPs voting for it and 17 voting against it. Liberals passed this bill with the help from their PC colleagues. NDP MPPs opposed the bill, siding with union leaders.
This legislation freezes teachers’ wages, prevents them from banking sick leaves and from going on a strike.
Was the measure by the government heavy handed?
Maybe, some will argue. In an economy where people are afraid of seeing pink slip, a demand from one group of professionals to have sick days that they can actually bank sounds a little too unreasonable. Yet, teachers’ say that they never wanted to go on strike and were willing to accept wage freeze, and that the government did not need to bring in a legislation.
PC leader Tim Hudak has been demanding wage freeze across the board, so passing of this legislation, is indeed, a victory for him. But this certainly is not a win for McGunity Liberals especially when teachers’ unions are running “hypocrisy” ads on TV, gaining some sympathy from public.
NDP leader Andrew Horwath is the only real winner in this situation.
Teachers’ unions have said that they will challenge the legislation in courts. Provided this matter does go to the court, isn’t it counterproductive to bring forth the legislation and then having to fight it in the court. The legal fees can go up to millions of tax payers’ dollars. Won’t the point of saving money by imposing a wage freeze be moot then?
On top of that high school students won’t have anyone to supervise their extracurricular activities for a day. Elementary school students are likely to miss out on a lot of after school activities as teachers vow to boycott the decision made by the elected representatives this week.
While the legislation may have been passed, this matter is by no means over and is likely to lurk over Liberals and PCs for months to come.