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'Democracy is not being well served by these actions'

Thursday, January 03, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

ELEMENTARY TEACHERS'
FEDERATION OF ONTARIO

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Government uses flawed legislation to trample rights of working Ontarians

Can’t remove stain of Bill 115 by repealing it after use

Today’s use of Bill 115’s unprecedented powers by the Ontario government, and the promise of a subsequent repeal of the Bill, is a cynical misuse of government power, according to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“The government has used a hammer to dictate terms of a contract; a hammer that was put in place as early as last February,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Ten years of goodwill has been squandered in ten months by this education minister.”

“By saying that she will repeal Bill 115 after using it to trample our rights, the education minister has admitted that the legislation is deeply flawed. Minister Broten will not erase the stain of Bill 115 simply by removing it after it is used. Ontarians will realize that democracy is not being well served by these actions.”

“This impasse was never about pay increases; it is about the democratic right of people in this province to collectively bargain,” added Hammond “The agreements imposed by the minister under Bill 115 are by no means collective agreements. There was never any attempt by the minister to hold fair and respectful negotiations.”

“This is an extremely cynical use of power that makes little sense. We do not believe that the government should be dictating terms and conditions of employment, when the lawful means of bargaining is between school boards and locals in the education sector.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

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Comments
44
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Norm 1/3/2013 3:37:52 PM Report

It's all about the teachers and the taxpayers. Teachers should be deemed as essential workers.
Bad Dawg 1/3/2013 3:47:41 PM Report

Wow They must really think we are sheep..... Baa Ram Ewe
lincoln 1/3/2013 3:49:51 PM Report

HELD HOSTAGE!!! by the teachers. They have been holding us hostage for years , They are over paid and under worked!! Yes they are an essential service when Parents rely on a place for their children to be insufficiently educated. They should be basing their wages on the results of the testing. Mandatory retirement with no call backs! This double dipping by former teachers of the separate school board should be stopped! Regrettably the whole school board is corrupt and have filled all the administration with their relatives. Democracy is alive and well and maybe the teachers should seek employment elsewhere!!
Truck 1/3/2013 4:00:40 PM Report

Lincoln...

feel free to educate your kids yourself!....nobody says you have to send them to school.
yew1 1/3/2013 4:07:54 PM Report

It happened to the workers at Canada Post. Thats what happens when you elect the Conservatives
zick999 1/3/2013 4:19:14 PM Report

Does this mean that the teachers can not go on strike ... Thank the LORD. I mean if they were going to strike ... would they do it until the end of June only ... from 9 to 3 each day with an hour lunch and over an hour prep time in between (less than 4 hour working day)... and then complain they had to work after hours putting signs together for the strike with no overtime pay LOL (they could've used their prep time). And that the hammers and nails they used were dangerous to their health and need additional days off??? Or would they have gone on strike like normal human beings from 9 to 5, 5 days a week and work past June.

I am for the first time in my life proud of a government that stood up to teachers even though it meant losing votes and probably an election. I am all for unions and fair work conditions/wages. But, teachers have exploited the government with there massive union size. I don't think the government will go after other unions to the extent they did to Teachers ... i mean no other public service received a 35% increase in pay the past nine years.

Also, to work out the numbers teachers work:

43 weeks x 5 days/week = 215 days
LESS March Break/Christmas = 15 days
Thanksgiving and other stats/holidays = 8 (or more)

SOOO, 215 - 23 = 192 working days

they teach an actual 4 hours a day so 192 days x 4 hours = 768 hours/year. WE ALL WENT TO SCHOOL, so give or take a few hours, some days teachers don't teach and put a movie in or it's a mass in the gym ... but some days they have to mark tests after school (or on their prep hour). Evens itself out.

HERE IT IS, $94,000/year divided by 768 hours = $122.40/hour.

I think you should be thankful the rest of Ontario doesn't stand up for its rights and request a wage reduction as we are the ones who pay your salaries. And comparing income to other PRIVATE businesses is not valid, they are not using taxpayer dollars.
Job Developer 1/3/2013 4:21:18 PM Report

Democracy ended years ago when the teachers successfully held our kids hostage time and time again

Its about time that a government said no more. The well is empty

The only right the teachers union wants to protect is their right to continue to hold our kids hostage. The last time I checked holding someone hostage for money was a criminal offense.


As for educating our kids at home , that would be fine but if we choose to do so why should we still be faced with paying the tax levee.
shopping 1/3/2013 4:22:21 PM Report

It is very sad that some of you people think this way I think teachers work very hard and I know my children have always been happy at school with there teachers and they teach them things that I cannot you have to be a special person to be a teacher and I think most people are just jealous at holidays and pay that teachers make but it is well deserved. So many people are so negative about this but teachers are not being treated fairly at all and this should be changed.
RLE 1/3/2013 4:46:27 PM Report

When any government repeals legislation, it is an acknowledgement that the legislation was either wrong,flawed or would not withstand a court challenge. Thus, when they implemented this bill they did so knowing they were wrong. Is that any way to run a province?
switchback 1/3/2013 4:49:31 PM Report

zick999

What a narrow view of what these (and all) teachers do. Why don't you include the countless hours of marking. How about the hundreds of hours of preparation, especially when the government changes the curriculum on a whim. How about the dozens of hours of coaching for the sports teams and other extra curricular activities?

I Think you need to re-do your math !!!!!
coop604 1/3/2013 4:56:55 PM Report

Hopefully the repealling of the Bill will answer the question "Have the last few weeks of Teacher non-work to rule been all about money, or have they been about Bill 115 taking away rights?" - Sadly we may already know the answer. When I joined the teaching ranks and my non -teaching peers (many of whom had more years of university and training than I did) commented about the perceived short days ,long vacation time and good benefits we received , my standard response was : "All true - we have excellent benefits and salaries and vacations. However, do not assume our job ends when the students go home each day or even during the summer". There was generally a sense of respect for the profession by the students and the public. As I approached retirement, more and more new teachers were coming in with a sense of entitlement. Instead of being at the school early and late preparing or evaluating, they came in at the last minute and were gone as soon as they could get the students out of there.Extra time for the student became "not in the contract" and therefore not required -or as we see now - even subject to penalty by the Union. Unfortunately the Union leaders are now of the era of those who felt entitled as teachers and it is a shame that they represent some of the truly fine teachers that are still out there. Respect has to be earned, not assumed.
zick999 1/3/2013 4:59:02 PM Report

why are those hours wrong??? are you trying to say teachers work in the summer LOL??? Even if ALL teachers worked and did volunteer work and couldn't use their one hour alotted prep time to mark and had to do it after work. Let's say they did work 6 hours a day. That's 192 days x 6 hours = 1152 hours/year. Thats still $81.60/hour. STILL OUTRAGEOUS.

AND, yes i have taught before as well. Marking is extremely annoying and repetive. And don't give me the sob story of lesson planning. After you teach a class a couple of times. You're course is pretty much a routine. AND, don't complain about changes in teaching. EVERY HUMAN BEING has to adapt to policy and legislation changes by the government. You wouldn't be a good employee if you didn't.
mallet 1/3/2013 5:01:15 PM Report

Yew1...

NOT Conservatives, repeat not conservatives.... it is the Liberals who has done this, do you not follow any news?? It was the Liberals who put together this bill 115... Wow the Consevatives have not formed the government for 9 years... Have people been asleep that long???
Paulie29 1/3/2013 5:07:47 PM Report

I graduated from teacher's college in 2010. Have a solid resume with experience ranging from coaching, tutoring, volunteering, etc. This is something I have done before teacher's college, throughout teacher's college, and after teacher's college (currently). Locally, I have applied to job postings from both school boards and have been fortunate enough to land one job interview whereby I thought I was successful enough to land on the supply list. Unfortunately, I was told by the panel that I did not sell myself enough in order to land a supply teaching position. Nonetheless, I have not been discouraged by the process throughout and still await employment and will stay in this town and continue to volunteer and educate myself with additional qualifications.

It is a shame that teachers are looked at in a negative light but I do agree that it is a select few that really cause this. I know there are good teachers out there because I have had my fair share of them. But perhaps teachers as a whole do not realize how well they have it, specifically in this community with brand new, state of the art institutions such as Superior Heights, Clergue, Holy Cross, among other things. It can be quite an enjoyable lifestyle if they choose it to be. They should not take advantage of it because there are many young individuals, like myself, in a position to educate but have fallen through the cracks of unfair practices like double dipping, nepotism, and various other internal politics that plague both school boards in the Soo. Equal opportunity is necessary. Ontario continues to graduate thousands upon thousands of teacher candidates per year. How about replacement teachers for those who are unhappy in their given profession?

Sincerely, a young male adult OCT member (since 2010) who awaits his chance to teach someday soon.
cjborg 1/3/2013 5:14:23 PM Report

Congrats to the Prov. Gov. for applying the democratically approved Bill 115.

I, for one, have no probem to now repeal Bill 115...... BUT...........

If petulent teachers and their unions do not co-operate fully then I would think our government should democratically deem teachers as "essential service" and negotiate a substanial reduction to teachers remuneration levels (after 2014).
sunshine 1/3/2013 5:16:24 PM Report

May I quote Greg Beeler who summed it up very well:

Teachers,
Please come to work early so I can drop my kids off on my way to Starbucks. Please feed them breakfast while they are there. Make sure it's healthier than what I offer at home. Also, teach them math and science since we rarely practice those in our house. But, also teach the moral and religious beliefs they see me not follow. I want you to reward their successes and recognize each child's abilities. But, make sure they all feel like winners and that no one feels left out. Be on the watch for bullies and trouble makers. Don't let anyone mistreat any one else since I don't have time to find out if my child is the "different" one. Make sure to recognize each student's individual talents and skills. Tell me what those are during our 10 minute conferences each term. Love and cherish my children as if they were you own. I'm busy trying to work 50 hours each week trying to pay for all of our belongings, so I don't have the kind of spare time that you do. Also, learn to shoot a gun and bring it to school in order to protect my children. They are my life and I wouldn't want them harmed under your watch. Ensure every child that leaves your classroom is safe, smart, well adjusted and free of social problems or concerns. I have difficulty parenting my 2 kids, but you got a degree in this. So, you must be able to handle all 38 students with absolute ease. When you are done with this list, let me know. I have more ideas on how you can raise my children for me.
Thanks,
A parent
trackyak 1/3/2013 5:39:35 PM Report

I'm glad the Liberal Government decided to take on the teachers, they are the only ones with enough money to take legal action and win..this government has shown that they will drop the hammer on every civil employee,watch out..you are next, lets support the teachers, they set the bar high and if they lose we all lose, remember this post when your wage drops through the floor, and don't think private enterprise isn't watching, if public employee wages drop so will yours, this is not good for any of us
Newsjunkie 1/3/2013 5:49:40 PM Report

zick999 - spend a day in a teacher's shoes and then try defending your 'math'. Just because a teacher has prep time does not mean they are not 'working'. There is more to our jobs than just teaching in the classroom. My prep time is spent preparing lessons, marking assignments, entering marks for report cards and calling parents, talking to counsellors regarding students who need extra support or meeting with parents/ special education teachers or administration. It is WORK time. Why would you deduct it from our work day. It is NOT a break. As for lunch, I only get 40 minutes and spend 20 of that supervising students in the cafeteria. I guess that isn't 'WORK' either, right? Try it on for size before you start criticizing. Maybe I should pick apart YOUR job and see how productive you are during the day. Hope you're not posting this from your WORK computer!
I'm In 1/3/2013 6:02:12 PM Report

There coming for every ones job, the OPS is next, I wouldn't be suprised if they reduce the minimum wage in this Province cause they can, stay tuned. Once the Libs. elect a new leader we are going to the poles because they don't want to run the house with a minority government, thats another reason besides his scams Dalton McLiar Porogued Parliament, "GO ANDREA GO".
Newsjunkie 1/3/2013 6:03:19 PM Report

...and you can deduct stat holidays from that calculation as well. Last time I checked EVERYONE was entitled to holiday pay! That includes the 3 that happen during Christmas break btw - so really it is only 7 'free days' as you call them.
switchback 1/3/2013 6:18:01 PM Report

ZICK

why are those hours wrong??? are you trying to say teachers work in the summer LOL???

I have news for you, it's not teachers that decided that there is no school during the summer months. I would have no problem teaching your kids in the summer, but I'm sure parents would though.

Even if ALL teachers worked and did volunteer work and couldn't use their one hour alotted prep time to mark and had to do it after work. Let's say they did work 6 hours a day. That's 192 days x 6 hours = 1152 hours/year. Thats still $81.60/hour. STILL OUTRAGEOUS.

Your math is still flawed. Maybe it would be better for you if teachers taught 7 days a week from September to June, but then your kids wouldn`t like that. Or they could still teach 5 days a week for 52 weeks (with no vacation) but your kids wouldn`t like that either. Oh well, I guess they will have to work 5 days a week from Sept to June. 8 weeks of vacation is way more than anyone deserves, right.

AND, yes i have taught before as well.

So why did you stop this "cushy" job you had ????? Summers off, a million dollar salary, WAS IT TOO EASY FOR YOU ?

Marking is extremely annoying and repetive.

DON'T FORGET it's also time consuming which you have conveniently left out of your calculations.

And don't give me the sob story of lesson planning. After you teach a class a couple of times. You're course is pretty much a routine.

You are somewhat correct here, once you have taught a course several times, there are components of it that are routine, but what happens when the textbook is no longer available, or the curriculum changes, or you are given a course or class you haven't taught before? No big deal right, because every teacher only teaches one course for their entire career.

AND, don't complain about changes in teaching. EVERY HUMAN BEING has to adapt to policy and legislation changes by the government. You wouldn't be a good employee if you didn't.

I wasn't "complaining" about "changes in teaching". I was referring to changes in WHAT HAS TO BE TAUGHT, which usually result in having to change how to teach it, which result in hours of re-preparation, which you conveniently ignore in you NEW WORLD MATH.

And to those who feel teachers are an essential service, if you truly feel that, then stop bitching about their salaries. If they were deemed an essential service, then they would be the lowest paid "essential service". You can't have it both ways people.
BlackHelix 1/3/2013 6:46:08 PM Report

@switchback

lol, you can still make your points without pretending to be a teacher..
BlackHelix 1/3/2013 7:01:29 PM Report

@sunshine

So because your job is hard, we should NEVER question things like pay and vacation? I know plenty of difficult jobs. Are you saying that janitors don't work hard? What about the garbage man? And really, if Greg Beeler wants to reduce teaching to just "raising kids", why don't babysitters and daycare workers make the same as teachers? What makes you different? No, I'm pretty sure everyone understands that you have a difficult job. The problem is that you have an developed such a huge entitlement mentality, making the conversation about how we treat teachers fairly somehow offensive. How dare us questions teachers right! After all, you have such a hard job. Well so do millions of other people, get over it....
KMF61MCF 1/3/2013 7:29:27 PM Report

Yes teachers make insane money, But how about the Management including Principles who make over 100,000.00 Plus a Year who years ago were taken OUT of the Teachers Federation in Order to become a " Principle"(Management) and all the "Fat Cats" Like the Director who dictates his or her own raise he or she gets, and these ELECTED Trusties approve these raises. It has been Alleged one Director once gave him self a $18,000.00 raise & increased his own salary by that much and Trusties that are elected approved it. The last 2 years of his Employment before retiring. Is this not sickening?? Id say not just the Teachers should bear the brunt of the Backlash But Management, Director and Superintendents, Ect be held accountable as well. How can the Numbers of Management not decrease with massive amounts of School closures? No all they do is shuffle and change there Title and keep the same numbers. Its Time the Government tighten the belt around the Management and show some accountability as well.
KMF61MCF 1/3/2013 7:43:30 PM Report

Paulie29 Its all who you know in this city! You are absolutely right about teachers double dipping. They complain and whine they can't wait till they can retire. Then turn around retire and go back on the Teaching Supply list. Thus not giving Teachers like you a chance at a job. If your not a MANAGEMENT relative or have a Teacher Relative your chances are slim but i wish you all the best of luck hang in there.Often i've heard a Teacher say they are going to retire but waiting for there son or daughter to graduate from Teaching College and get them a job. Then they will retire.To Bad you weren't a son or daughter of a Director you would fly from supply teacher to Principal in a few short years. Sell your self what a joke. No matter how hard you try to "sell yourself" its who you know!!
lostinspace 1/3/2013 8:14:51 PM Report

By many accounts, it seems nepotism and promoting from within are the norm within the school board. It seems strange that they hire principals for these "super schools", that don't have the expertise. The next move is usually an "appointment" to superintendent. How are we saving tax payers dollars by now opening a second jk-8 french immersion school because the first one wasn't built big enough to accomodate all the kids??? Good time to retire....
Tommy2Toes 1/3/2013 9:07:46 PM Report

I'll take the job with this new contract if the teachers don't want it...lots of other qualified people will as well. As important a job as teaching is, it is also a watered down talent pool...too many people for too few jobs.
farmer 1/3/2013 10:26:16 PM Report

Helix

You compare teachers to the garbage man and custodians whom I have no doubt all work hard, but think of the product that is yielded in each of these occupations. Teachers in many cases attempt to fund raise, counsel, parent, coach and teach youth. These are young people that are supposed to be leaders of tomorrow, a precious product.

Zick

You calculate $122.40 per hour, what are rates for mechanics that work on one car that is compliant and doesn't talk back?

I do value early childhood education and that's why I pay over $45 per day per child, that's about $900 per month. Further, if you have children you would know that the average "babysitting" wage is $5 per hour per kid .... so in a class of 30 students that would be $150 per hour ...

... so $122.40 per hour for teacher

... so $150 "babysitting" wage

... or the daycare wage of $900 x 30 students, that's $27 000 per month

Food for thought ...
farmer 1/3/2013 10:36:57 PM Report

... oops and I forgot my point, the teacher opposition to what the liberal government has done is not about money or salaries. It is about the non-democratic legislature. It is dictatorship-like political action such as this that we on the national stage (Can and USA) send military force elsewhere to correct

Just my thoughts ...
Ricatoni 1/3/2013 10:42:48 PM Report

its not about teachers is about our democratic right as Canadians to be able to negotiate our own contract .......................................
Sam C 1/3/2013 11:29:29 PM Report

Zick... FYI, the school year is 194 days.
And, the school day is 6.5 hours.

The reality is, as Newsjunkie stated, teachers put in far more than the 6.5 hours, doing prep work, lunch supervision, etc.

And yes, lesson plans can be re-used, a few times. The curriculum changes every 5 years, so lesson plans must be altered to reflect new expectations. They are also changed to reflect the needs of each new class -- what worked with the Gr 10s last semester may not work with this semester's class... or even a second Gr 10 class in the same semester.

As for your salary calculations, yes, there are teachers making $94,000. There are far more that are much lower down the salary grid, making less than half that amount.

By my calculations, working 6.5 hours x 194 days = 1,261 hours. For a $45,000 salary that works out to about $35/hour.

That's a lot compared to a minimum wage job, but about average for a "skilled worker," and low for someone with a trade.
Zarm27 1/4/2013 1:40:35 AM Report

People complain that the members of parliament receive too much money etc etc. A glimpse of how things are being abused, would be that our country's Prime Minister actually receives less than this Sam Hammond. It's food for thought, yet these people that follow along thinking it's some prime injustice to their human rights are just seeking for a scapegoat for their greed.

Also, for the naysayers that claim it was never about greed, previous to the bill there was still a disagreement about the contracts. It's the Unions way of manipulating the media to rally the masses to support their disgusting act of holding back the education of our children.

'Nuff said.
Rob19 1/4/2013 7:17:10 AM Report

Have people forgotten how it got to this point? The teachers and the government (through school boards, I assume) began negotiating last February and could not come to an agreement. The government then put the teachers on notice stating that they would enact legislation - which obviously, they did.
Now, when the teachers were negotiating, what do you suppose the topics of discussion were - wages..sick days...sick day payouts...or maybe they couldn't reach agreement on how to better organize extracurricular activities for the students....yeah right! I bet that didn't even come up....so instead of trying to fool people into believing that the government is removing the bargaining rights of unions, why not state the truth - that the unions were unable to come to an agreement that would meet the financial restrictions of the government (taxpayers) and that it was all about the money!
By your leave 1/4/2013 7:17:52 AM Report

Thank goodness the students will be now be getting a strike-uninterrupted education!

And now that the unions are no longer in a legal strike position we'll see who the greedy vindictive teachers are. They'll be the ones who continue to NOT partcipate in "voluntary" extra-curricular activities.
learningaswego 1/4/2013 8:27:29 AM Report

Finally, a government with a spine!

BRAVO!

Next stop - right to work legislation, to bring us up to speed with most of the rest of the civilized world. If the Libs ever hope to be re-elected, they should introduce this - they'd win by a landslide.
sunshine 1/4/2013 8:48:23 AM Report

@ Farmer
Thank-you for your perfect response to black helix...it was exactly what I was planning to say!
debbiedoo 1/4/2013 9:54:50 AM Report

anyone up for a good conversation about how we should deal with the natives? Just asking.
learningaswego 1/4/2013 10:13:46 AM Report

"Democracy is not being well served by these actions"
Yah, right. What complete and utter BS!

I suppose when unions withdraw services and hold the public and parents hostage to extort more money, that is "democracy"?

Please, please provincial and federal leaders - it is TIME to bring Canada in to the 21st century with most of the rest of the civilized world, with right to work legislation.
Polis 1/4/2013 10:23:23 AM Report

One day of lost classes in 8 years is not exactly impeding education! Standing up for democratic rights and freedoms? Priceless!
Newsjunkie 1/4/2013 10:38:54 AM Report

Zarm27 said "A glimpse of how things are being abused, would be that our country's Prime Minister actually receives less than this Sam Hammond. It's food for thought, yet these people that follow along thinking it's some prime injustice to their human rights are just seeking for a scapegoat for their greed. "

Maybe Zarm27 needs to stop that follow along thinking himself and do a little research. The FACT is that Stephen Harper earned $296,400 last year. Samuel Hammond earned $170,845.61. Dalton McGuinty earned $208,974.00. Sounds like someone else is a bit mislead. You want a real eye opener? Check out the salaries of all the Education Adminstration Superintendents across Ontario etc... and see how much of a raise they have voted themselves in the last five years. You think UNION employees are the problem? Think again.
KMF61MCF 1/4/2013 1:58:41 PM Report

AMEN to that Newsjunkie your exactly right all tax payers need to look up the HUGE PAY INCREASES the Education Administration so kindly give themselves. From the Director, to Superintendents etc etc They chose an increase go to the trusties and they approve it. Now we need Government to step in and STOP this!
Zarm27 1/4/2013 3:39:45 PM Report

Hmmmm, I was sure that there was no public disclosure, only a disclosure towards the Minister of Education and local presidents.
Kayteem 1/4/2013 6:27:43 PM Report

My career is the best gift I have. I will leave it with the great satisfaction of knowing I have had a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, students and colleagues alike. It doesn't get any better.

I would love it if I could take one of you to work with me for a couple of days. Then go back and do your math.

Meanwhile I invite you to review the International Labour Organization Convention #98 with respect to the definition of essential service and the right to strike. It's INTERNATIONAL and exists to protect everyone including those who have spoken here with such a disturbing contempt for teachers. Then consider what has happened this week to the rights of a group of employees who not once opposed the need to do their part to address the "stubborn deficit"....not once.

We do NOT teach lessons. We teach students. Since every single one of your children has individual needs, interests and abilities...no amount of advanced lesson planning diminishes the day to day imperative of ensuring every student learns in a safe, respectful environment. That's the part of this job I really really wish you could see.


frnlak 1/6/2013 12:53:10 PM Report

newsjunkie...Harper $296,400, Hammond $170,845, Daddy Dalton $208,974, Theresa Spence $300,000. http:www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/2070949556001
Comments
44
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