Thursday, 10 January 2013

Will teachers lose their ticket?

Dear Readers,

Today, I bring more about the potential wildcat' strike threat for tomorrow by the teacher's union. This article, verbatim is about 'Ontario teacher protests: High school and elementary teachers plan one day ‘illegal’ strikes', by  Kristin Rushowy and Robert Benzie, Staff Reporters withm files from Rob Ferguson and Carys Mills, all of the Toronto Star, published on Wednesday January 09, 2013. Below is my response and below that is room for your comment, but having said that, many of you still seem to prefer to email me directly but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent...

Premier Dalton McGuinty is urging the province’s elementary teachers to rethink job action.               
                                                                     photo by Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Teachers who walk off the job in planned illegal strikes face fines of up to $2,000 each, under Ontario law.
Premier Dalton McGuinty urged teachers to rethink the job action, promising the government will go to the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Thursday to stop it. “On behalf of parents and students alike, it is our full expectation that teachers will be in school on Friday and every day in keeping with their employment obligations,” he warned.

“Let's agree to have this matter settled in court, not in our schools,” said McGuinty, in reference to the union challenge of Bill 115. Earlier in the day, Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, said that as far as fines go, the union will deal with them, if “we get to that point, if that is in fact what happens.” He said 92 per cent of teachers who voted in December approved a one-day protest Friday, so that's why the union called it, and that such action is allowed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We're not prepared to stand on the sidelines and let (the government's actions) go unnoticed or go unchallenged,” he said in an interview before McGuinty's announcement, referring to the union's battle with the Liberals over Bill 115 and the collective agreements the government imposed on teachers. Ontario high school teachers announced late Wednesday they too will walk off the job for a day on Jan. 16, five days after the elementary teachers. The move will close schools for more than 400,000 students in the province's public English-language high schools.

In response, the education minister said she will ask the labour relations board to review the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation's planned walkout as well. Under Bill 115, the province has the power to go to the board and seek cease-and-desist applications. If the unions defy any ruling by the board, the government could then go to the Ontario Superior Court, arguing the unions are in contempt of court.
Disobeying the order could result in fines of up to $25,000 for the unions and as much as $2,000 for individual teachers under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.

McGuinty pointedly did not want to discuss punitive measures, but behind the scenes sources say the government is ready to use them. “I want to be as clear as I can. With contracts now in place, teachers are no longer in a legal strike position,” he told reporters at a hastily called late afternoon Queen's Park news conference Wednesday. “Strikes before the holidays were disappointing and they were a real inconvenience to parents, but they were legal,” the premier said of rotating one-day walkouts elementary teachers held in December.

“A strike on Friday would be an illegal strike, and I know teachers are law-abiding. I know they don't want to break the law, and I am urging them not to.” Progressive Conservative education critic Lisa MacLeod blasted the Liberals for being “so vague” and leaving parents swirling in uncertainty about whether teachers would be in classrooms Friday. The NDP, however, said it believed Friday’s job action is legal. Education critic Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) blamed the government for creating “chaos in schools.”

Earlier Wednesday, Hammond announced 76,000 teachers would walk off the job Friday to protest the province imposing contracts on his members. The move would affect more than 900,000 students. Many families then received notices from their school boards that classes Friday were cancelled. Josie Daga, school council president at Bessborough Drive Elementary and Middle School in East York, where her 5- and 7-year-old go to school, said teachers need to “leave me and my children out of it.” Daga said she didn't see the strike coming because of the imposed contracts. “How could parents not be frustrated to be put in the middle of this?”

                                                                keep 'em stupid       

my response....

How Long will these union leaders continue with their 'keep 'em stupid' approach? It doesn’t matter what this Premier says, these union leaders will find fault with it and turn it into an us versus them issue. Only a paranoid group of wingnuts obsessed with turning their fiefdom back to a make-believe time when the moon was made of green cheese could find fault with a simple taxpayer demand to accept a fair offer for services rendered.

                                                             Kids in School.
But is there a method to their madness? Treating some of the teachers with disrespect is just about the only way these union leaders can cling on to a base who has been spoon fed lies and propaganda since 2003 from the same Liberal machine that decided to get honest. Would they feel far more comfortable if they could find a way to keep their remaining supporters only tuned into NDP propaganda now instead of the enquiring media hoards?

                                                                     More Kids in School.

Even though the union could face a fine of $35,000 as penalty for a 'wildcat' strike tomorrow, once charged and convicted, will our teachers who listen to their union leaders lose their Ontario teaching certificate if a judge impose fines and/or jail time for committing contempt of court? Not only could they be convicted and fined $2,000 each for contempt of court; as well they could lose their salary for the period they didn't show up to work? Regardless, what kind of lesson is this behaviour teaching our children?


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Will teachers lose their ticket? to wildcat or not?

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