OTTAWA — On Dec. 5, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, citing a proposed increase in teachers’ supervision time and plans to allow principals to direct their planning time, turned down a contract offer that would have given them smaller class sizes, more preparation time and a 12-per-cent pay increase over four years.
On that same day, a beleaguered General Motors announced that it was shutting down the third shift at its Oshawa plant, throwing 700 employees out of work.
Five days later, on Dec. 10, OC Transpo workers here in Ottawa went on strike over scheduling differences.
Also on Dec. 10, Toyota announced output cutbacks at two Canadian plants, while FNX Mining suspended nickel-ore production in Sudbury, a move that affected 307 workers.
Another mining giant, Rio Tinto, promised that day to eliminate 14,000 jobs, while Office Depot announced plans to close 112 stores.
And six days ago, on Jan. 7, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union rejected a government offer that contained a punitive provision for provincial Correctional Services members with excessive sick time, and asked them instead to vote to strike.
That was the same day that the Toronto-Dominion Bank’s chief economist, Don Drummond, reacting to reports of 100,000 jobs lost in Canada in November and December, predicted that the country’s economic forecast for the first half of 2009 looked “pretty terrible.”
The article goes on to say that most of these strikes seem to about control not money. I would tend to agree with that except that it would seem that it not so much about control in the workplace but control by the union. Looking at these things from the outside with only the spin from the unions to go by it seems that many of these failures to come to an agreement are simply arguments for arguments sake. “I Am right”…”No I am right”. That these folks have, in most cases, been “negotiating” for months indicates that one side or the other or both simply cannot or will not compromise. Naturally both sides blame the other.
I will just say this. It seems strange (but not unexpected or unusual) that all these union members are a) Paid out of the public purse. b) Have a relatively secure job. c) Are paid above average wage. d) Receive above average benefits.
My message to those paid from the public purse who don’t like their job or working conditions is this:- Give me a break, my pockets are empty, my patience for those with good secure job wanting MORE or BETTER is at an end. Shut the hell up, go back to work and get on with it. Be thankfull you have you have ANY income, many do not!
A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.