Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ontario Teachers Cry Poor, Yet They Have Money To Burn?




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.

--jackandcokewithalime

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.

(Image:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbcurio/3956182084/sizes/o/in/photostream/ by jbcurio on flickr
)

10 comments:

Sherman said...

You're missing a couple of point.
1st, This is the Catholic union doing this, the rest of the teachers haven't said this. Second, knowing alot of teachers, they weren't very happy to read this story in the paper today. If you really believe that unions work for the best of their members, you are very uninformed. I guarantee you most teachers will have a cow when they hear that they will be forced to pay $60 and be told who to vote for.

jackandcokewithalime said...

Sherman,

Thanks for your comment, and for your readership.

I hope that the teachers aren't happy about this! And if they do nothing to stop it, then they might as well be supporting it, and that is my point. Teachers are ready at the drop-of-a-dime to go on strike for their Unions when it comes to getting higher compensation, but in situations like this, suddenly they are powerless and "If you really believe that unions work for the best of their members, you are very uninformed." Give me a break. I love how the ideology only fits whenever the teachers are looking for sympathy.

In terms of this just being in reference to the Ontario Catholic Teachers, that may be the case, but other Teachers' Unions are supporting/sponsoring the so-called "Working Families Coalition", who are doing the exact same thing, so they're no less guilty.

Here's a list of all of the Unions that are sponsoring the "Working Families Coalition":

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Ontario Nurses Association
Canadian Auto Workers
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 128
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Millwrights
International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 793
Painters District Council 46
Ontario Pipe Trades Council
Service Employees International Union

As far as I'm concerned, any teachers who have extra money to spend on politically influencing tactics, have more money than they need, and have no business whatsoever crying poor to the taxpayers who can't even afford to pay for their own bills, let alone support the political agendas of these teachers.

--jackandcokewithalime

Anonymous said...

The teachers in general may very well disagree with their union. The decision to implement this fee was made by delegates to the AGM. The delegates, probably representing less than 5% of the teacher membership, are very active union members and in no way represent the views of all members. This was never put to the membership at large for a vote. So yes, there are many teachers upset with what the union has done!

Tom

Anonymous said...

Face it, your a jealous teacher hater. Envious of teacher holidays, perceived early finish times, decent pay and job security, you would like to see us all struck down so we can join you in your pit of misery. God forbid that others who spent years training to join a profession, who do a hard days work (and it is...it doesn't end at 3:00) should be rewarded for their efforts and benefit from the protection of a union that aims to maintain these benefits. Teachers train in droves to join the teaching profession because it is a good career. If you're so bitter, swallow your bile and train to be a teacher too. You might find yourself feeling differently.

CheeMiss said...

@Anonymous said...APRIL 7, 2011 3:48 PM

Hi Anonymous, it sounds to me like you are a union shill.

No one is jealous. All taxpayers, whether we are in the private or public sector are fed up with union tax gouging.

The point of this article is to show how the unions are FORCING their members to pay $60 to support the party that the union selected.
THIS IS EXTORTION!!! The 1920's Racketeering/Mob comes to mind. Come to think of it, the Mob did go legit after prohibition ended. They got into the Union & Insurance business!

Anonymous said...

I am probably an anomaly to you... a conservative teacher!!!

I am also a member of OECTA and I am extremely unhappy about this. Unfortunately, there is little I can do except complain to my local OECTA unit (they are also unhappy about this) because the provincial unit has so much control.

Furthermore, it disturbs me that the finger is always pointed at the teachers. Like any other profession, we have our fair share of buffoons but most of us would welcome positive changes.

Mr. Hudak cannot make the same mistake Mike Harris made...go after the teachers. He must instead focus his attention on the Ministry of Education and School Board Administrators who continue to WASTE tax payer money with hollow initiatives that produce little tangible benefit.

There is more than enough money in education to create the best system in the world. We just need to put in in the hands of our schools, teachers, parent's councils, etc. and let them decide how to spend it.

Our unions are just as bad as the Ministry and School Board Administration, however, somehow everyone always seems to focus(wrongly so) their wrath on teachers during election time.

As for my $60...all I can do is exercise my right to vote and DEFY my unions wishes in doing so:)

cronzy said...

I am a teacher with OECTA, have 3 voters in my household who ARE voting for the Conservatives, and am extremely angry with my union. So please, please, please tell me oh wise man, what exactly can I do to not pay the $60 my union is extorting from me! I don't want to pay it to support ANY political party, let alone a party I am not voting for.

Anonymous said...

Many of you have said that you are struggling to pay your bills, perhaps you should stop pointing the finger at public sector ( also taxpaying) employees who also struggle and may have good benefits and re-focus the blame on governments who cut corporate taxes. The loopholes within the tax system let big corporations get away with paying very little to zero tax. The corporations claim this creates jobs, yet the unemployment rate in Canada has been increasing steadily despite the tax cuts. Why? Corporations are not regulated to create jobs. So when they are offered a tax cut they can either pass this on in the form of a job, or give their CEO's a perverse payraise. The average CEO in Canada makes 600000 dollars a year compared with the average Canadian who makes 48,000 dollars a year. Are teachers really the enemy here? Wake up. Learn your history- Unions have contributed to the creation of the middle-class, and increased the working standards for all Canadians. You should not be attacking teachers and unions, but demanding that governments meet the needs of good working conditions and fair pay for all Canadians. A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to make the rich richer, and widen the disparity between rich and poor. Unless you are part of the 1% who hold the wealth in this country, by attacking unions- you only hurt yourself.

Anonymous said...

Any teacher who votes for Hudak is a timid female elementary teacher / badly misinformed. Hudak will cut services to the classroom and eliminate the professionalism of teachers by placing even more emphasis on standardized testing. Don't even think of teaching in a low-income area under Hudak. You'll be blamed for every single social ill that comes your way via your students! Look south, my teachers friends. Do we really want to dumb down our curriculum even farther and create situations where teachers need part-time jobs to make ends meet? Do your homework, especially those teachers who see teaching as modern day nunnery.

J Canada said...

Cry me a damn river! There are thousands living in poverty who are educated and skilled but because we have to pay for spoiled brats the economy is now broke. Youth unemployment is 40% in ontaRio now and ot come from middle class families. My brother is a prof in nb and he makes less than a grade one teacher in ontario!