It's one thing to threaten strikes every time their contracts are coming up for expiration, crying that they are severely underpaid and their benefits/pensions are lacking; but it is a complete other to later have the ability to come up with millions of dollars apparently from thin-air (as they are supposed to be struggling, right?) in order to use it for political influencing, money that though it may be coming from the teachers, it originated from you and I, the taxpayers.
The Ontario Catholic Teachers Union (OECTA - Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association) in a disgusting and eye-opening move have announced that they will be collecting monies from all teachers ($3 Million minimum) in order to use it to launch an advertising campaign aimed at preventing the Ontario Progressive Conservatives from winning this year's Provincial election, and stopping the removal of the worst Premier Ontario has ever had, Dalton McGuinty, from office.
For a group of so-called underpaid and under-appreciated workers who constantly threaten strikes over lack of compensation, having these extra funds available to be used in such a frivolous way that has nothing to do with "teaching" only shows one thing, that the teachers are so severely overpaid that they've got money to burn.
I mean, just the fact that the person they are looking to sabotage, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, was himself born from parents who are teachers, and whose sister is a teacher, and who has big plans to help teachers, for some reason is irrelevant to these apparently bloated fatcats who claim to be doing this "for the children", only goes to prove that the next time the teachers come to the bargaining table looking for sympathy from the taxpayers, all we need to do is remind them of all of the extra cash that they seem to be able to come up with with ease any time they feel like it. To me, and to millions of struggling Ontario taxpayers who don't have the same luxury, this is simply evidence that shows that teachers don't need more funding, they simply need more accountability, and maybe need some financial advisement.
Here's the story from the Toronto Sun:
Catholic teachers target Tories
A $3-million election war chest paid for by Ontario’s Catholic teachers has left the provincial Tories feeling outgunned.
Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod said the political action campaign fund set up by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) will put PCs at a severe spending disadvantage during the upcoming fall campaign.
“We’re looking at about $3 million which will go towards ads to defeat Tim Hudak, myself, other PC candidates,” MacLeod said. “And there’s no opportunity for my supporters or any teacher who doesn’t agree with this tactic to opt out. And I think that’s unfair.”
OECTA President James Ryan said that a portion of the money will be used on a province-wide billboard campaign — “Who Speaks For Children” — to ensure that the investments made in education during the last eight years continue past October’s fall election.
Each member of OECTA will be required to pay an extra $60 in union fees to fund the campaign, but dues will return to regular levels the following year, Ryan said.
Hudak said he’s getting calls and e-mails from teachers who are upset that they’re being forced to spend money on what they view as a political exercise to get the Ontario Liberals re-elected.
Hudak has three family members who worked in the Catholic school system — his father was a principal, his mother was a special needs teacher and his sister is a secondary school teacher.
“The importance of supporting teachers in the class and classroom education is something that I grew up with talking around the kitchen table almost each and every day,” he said. “You’ll see that reflected in the PC platform and I encourage individual teachers to see where we want to go with education. I think they’ll be impressed.”
I used to have a soft spot for teachers, as I was one of the people who truly understood their value to our society, and I always felt that if anyone deserved to receive improved compensation, it was the teachers. But after this latest eye-opening travesty, that has all changed. If the teachers have money to burn, then they shouldn't be reaching into my pockets for more. I can't even pay my Fuel costs and Hydro bills, let alone put money towards politically influencing tactics. I, unlike the teachers, don't have that luxury, and I'm betting that the majority of Ontarians don't either.
PS: Am I wrong, Ontario teachers? I'm dying to believe that I am... Prove it to me and to Ontarians by forcing your Union Leaders to stop these illegal politically influencing tactics, which are costing you money that you supposedly don't have. Otherwise, if you do nothing, then you've only confirmed our suspicions, and you better then realize that Ontarians have seen this, we understand this, and we will recall this in all future considerations in regards to Ontario teachers.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbcurio/3956182084/sizes/o/in/photostream/ by jbcurio on flickr