RE: Union reform needed, Review, Community Voices, Dec. 13, 2012
In his letter, Mr. Powell basically insults all teachers in Ontario and seems naive to the fact that teachers have brains and can think on their own. He also forgets the history of Canada with regards to the struggles those before us had, when they joined together in solidarity to make a better life for themselves and their descendants – us.
Teachers are trained professionals and yet what they do is a vocation, not simply a job. But teachers are keenly aware that social justice and democracy must be defended at all costs and that’s what Bill C-115 is about.
Teachers realize that being part of a federation or union is not simply about negotiating for fair wages, benefits and working conditions, especially in this day and age; it is more about joining together to make life better in the classroom – a happy teacher makes for happy students.
In addition, with no union protection, how are teachers going to fight any false accusations by students and parents or any possible liability suits that result from extra-curricular injuries, volunteer work that they love to do but which comes with its own risks?
Unions offer a plethora of professional development programs, courses and materials, which help with the formation of uniformity across the province and result in up-to-date teachers.
Yes, teachers are well remunerated for what they do, but they work for every penny, as in other professions and jobs.
So, before Mr. Powell and his followers speak again, spend a week in a classroom, read Bill C-115 to see that it’s not about money but about removing democratic rights, and realize that when teachers join in solidarity they ARE the unions!