"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday 4 October 2019


Union leaders are paid executive salaries. They have to be elected. The more successful they are in bargaining ,the more likely to be re-elected. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is a powerful union.Municipal employers cower before their power. They have however come up with an option to bargaining in good faith. CUPE and the education workers bargaining unit has fallen into the trap...perhaps unwitting... perhaps not.

Education  workers have voted to strike. Boards of Education have declared war.  All services will be withheld and schools will close. TEACHERS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO BE PAID ACCORDNG TO THEIR CONTRACT. Education Boards  couldn’t do that with  teachers but they can with clerical workers and janitorial employees. Their work can be contracted out.

The harsh reality is ,when  teachers’ bargaining is successful less is left for lesser workers.

Since the Province  took  financial responsibility for education Board budgets are
subject to Provincial authority. Payroll  is 75% of most public service budgets.therefore any
effort to control costs must focus thereon.

Since the teachers union , or professional association as they like to be known,  gets the lion’s share, less  is left. for lesser employees.if ghe strike , Boards can blame the union for closing schools. To achieve savings required by their Provincial masters,  the services can be contracted out. Public sympathy for education workers is unlikely. Everyone doesn’t understand a school is a community.

CUPE is a powerful union but it’s future is not secure. With no new hires  and retirements not
Replaced, membership will be reduced over the long term and bargaining units will lose their effectiveness.Management would always prefer not to have to deal with a union.On the one hand. unions bargain hard ,on the other, politicians mm. like to be seen as the good guys.

This morning, a headline informed us Ontario students up to Grade 5 are reading below Grade level. It’s the one subject essential to teach. Students can find everything  they need to know from a computer . First they need to know how to read.

Most people recognize taxes are necessary to pay for services. They do not begrudge paying those who provide the service reasonable compensation. It’s when the service is not up to the standard  they expect....that’s when they begrudge paying the bill.

Nor do they understand the difference between being a contract worker and a member of the family.

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