The high school teachers’ union, OSSTF, is taking its fight to TV.
Contrary to what a variety of columnists and MPPs would have you believe, the public sector is not the enemy. You are the public, and your servants want to serve you in exchange for appropriate compensation and benefits. So to the Government and Opposition I say this: language matters. We are not terrorists. And you're either with us or against us.
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."
Ontarian parents who favour one unified school system would be wise to take a look at the education scene in B.C., where some say the teachers' union is more powerful than God. If we didn't have three teachers' unions in Ontario, it is likely that no students would be enjoying extra-curricular activities today.
There is nothing to prevent teachers from having strong political beliefs or views or from joining political parties. We should, however expect that teachers understand that if they are using the classroom as a pulpit, they are contravening one of the purposes of education.
Ontario high school students are being disproportionately affected by the conflict between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and the provincial government. What is most worrying about the conflict between the Ontario teacher's union and the government is the way in which students are being used as pawns by the OSSTF to advance and promote a political message. Students' anger over the loss of extracurricular activities should not be directed towards the government.