Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In These Economic Times, It's Hard to Have Sympathy

Don't even get me started on the NHL lockout. Millionaires fighting billionaires over a frickin' game. Give me a break!

I'm going to keep this short because I know I'm going to rub some people the wrong way. But I find that I have little sympathy and no patience for Ontario teachers who are complaining about the measures that our provincial government is taking. The government has said that it wants to freeze teachers' wages for two years and impose a ban on strikes during this period.

Basically, the Ontario Liberals have said that the province is cash-strapped. Education is really, really expensive, so to avoid cutting the education budget and possibly reducing the number of teachers when classes are already strained, they want to suspend pay raises. For two years.

The government knows that the school unions won't like those measures and may threaten strike action. The province needs the schools to work so it's saying, "Hey, we know this stinks, but don't strike so we can have money to support education down the road."

And the unions and teachers are unhappy, saying their rights are taken away. And are threatening to cease all extra-curricular activities, including sports.

I'm sorry, teachers and unions, but I haven't had a raise in almost two years. I know people who have gone longer without a pay increase. I know lots of people who think job security is a myth. Wait... I'm one of those people.

There are lots of jobs where you can work your ass off and toe the company line, and then get laid off.

This morning, on the radio, I heard a teacher complain and say "teachers are hard-working." Sure, many of them are, but not all. And I'm sure that teachers work as hard as they are paid, just like most other employed individuals. There are folks in my office who are putting in 60-hour weeks or more.

Lots of people work hard but don't have their summers off and a nice, comfortable pension waiting for them.

Two years isn't much. And making sure that there are no strikes ensures that more drastic measures don't hurt the kids' education.

So suck it up, teachers and unions.

Be thankful you have a job.

1 comment:

  1. The reality is, teachers' pay (like anyone else's) has nothing to do with how hard they work or when they last got a raise. It's a simple supply and demand equation -- if there are too few teachers then they aren't paid enough; if there are too many then they are overpaid. Also, if the Liberal government seriously wanted to cut down on wasteful education spending they would eliminate the Catholic school board -- something only the Greens have pushed for so far. It's unbelievable to think that such an entity exists in a modern society! So I'm with you on there being no inherent "entitlement" for teachers' salaries. Similarly, there is no entitlement for NHL salaries... worth is relative. :-)