As much as I am passionate about what I teach, I am more passionate about the people I teach. I am more interested that they are content and happy -- that they are not under undue duress or strain; what is the point of spouting out facts and figures, as important as they might be, if the students' heart is not in it? If their belly is empty?
Many of us feel that the only way we have left to show our displeasure is to withhold the work that we normally do for free. Are you willing to do the same amount of work for 10 per cent less pay? How about 20 per cent less, 25 per cent less, 35, 50? When would your dignity and self-respect kick in and make you say "just hang on a minute. I'm a trained professional, and I don't work for free."
Our children are not being put first; they are being cheated. If we care about the public good, teachers must be respected and compensated fairly to attract the best and brightest. With the decimation of school board budgets, parents who can afford to do so may pull their kids out of the public system.
As the Ontario Liberal Party prepares to host delegate election meetings across the province this weekend, all signs point to a victory for Kathleen Wynne. She continues to demonstrate the organizational strength and critical levels of support needed to become the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Glen Murray chose to drop out of the race and endorse Wynne prior to delegate election meetings where delegates, who will ultimately elect the next leader, will be elected themselves. Assuming his supporters follow him, Wynne's advantage going into this weekend's delegate election meetings is significant.
Some unions have engaged in strike action that has closed schools, restricted learning for students and created an unstable learning environment. It has been stressful and chaotic for many students and parents. Then those same union leaders asked the government not to move ahead with collective agreements, yet they had no other solutions to offer -- except more disruption. That's why, on my advice, the Lieutenant Governor in Council has put in place collective agreements for all school boards and unions that were unable to deliver ratified and approved collective agreements by the deadline.