Re: Union reforms needed, Community Voices, Review, Dec. 13
We disagree with Wayne Powell’s letter in your Dec. 13 issue, which states that teachers’ unions are playing a “dangerous game.”
By objecting to the Ontario government’s Bill C-115, which undermines collective bargaining rights, the teachers, through their unions, are taking a principled stand.
The suggestion that teachers and unions are greedy is also contrary to the facts. Pay increases and “less work” are not part of the negotiation. True negotiation is the main issue.
Mr. Powell’s effort to divide teachers and unions reminds us of the Mike Harris efforts to divide the 416 and 905 areas.
This divisive approach never helps.
Teachers are not sheep following “big union bosses.” As a recently retired teacher, I can assure you that the majority of my colleagues understand and value the collective bargaining process.
The teachers have had their democratic say by voting overwhelmingly to protest this bill. At this time, when working people everywhere are being asked to pay for mismanagement by large corporations and governments, unions are more important than ever.
We have no idea what Mr. Powell means by the “responsible middle ground.” By foregoing pay increases and by being measured in their labour action in defence of collective bargaining, the teachers, through their unions, are being “sober, balanced and responsible.”
We wonder if the government is taking the unbalanced position through Bill C-115 because of their mismanagement of public finances, exemplified by such things as e-Health, ORNGE and the expensive, politically motivated cancellation of power projects.
What next, Michigan?
Mary Beth and George Wheeler