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Ontario teachers going on Strike November 25 because of Bill 115


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#1 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

A strike in Ontario is going to come for sure regarding this Bill 115. I think everyone should read Bill 115 first before automatically hopping on the bandwagon for teachers, because that seems to be the trend for students.

I personally think Bill 115 is a bit on the draconian side, but students that support the teachers are actually supporting the wrong people. Students should form bodies that support THEMSELVES because push comes to shove, teachers don't care and neither does the Government.

Look at the below picture.

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(Picture/article taken from: news.ca.msn.com/ontario/brampton/teachers-in-strike-position-nov-25)


One protester has a sign that reads: "Teachers Put Students First". No they don't. Teachers in Ontario have not been participating in extracurricular activities with students thus far.
(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...r-teachers.html) Though it isn't stated that the teachers must do it, the fact that they pick an aspect of school that has nothing to do with Government illustrates that students are not first. Students are essentially put up as hostages.

Bill 115 itself does not really talk about students; it is just regulation for teachers to limit their ability to strike at certain times. But when protesting, teachers love to drag students into this one.

http://www.ontla.on.....do?BillID=2665

Here is the link for Bill 115. It is too long to produce in this post but one must read it at least once.

Go have a read and don't automatically go and jump at a side.



Many students must have Stockholm Syndrome because they are misguidedly supporting them. (Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...r-teachers.html, http://www.yorkregio...o-kill-bill-115)

From the CBC article: "We feel bad for them, what Dalton McGuinty is doing and the bill. As a result, it's going down to us and missing our extra-curricular and it's making it worse," said Assad Lotf, a student at Ridgemont High School.


The reason why they support the teachers is because they feel bad for the teachers? Terrible rationale for supporting them. Who will feel bad for the students then? Neither the Government nor the teachers will.

This article from 2009 explains the infamous 2007-2008 York Strike that affected a lot of students. It illustrates that a strike is not so simple that high school students can pick up a sign and start supporting teachers automatically, because even the author admittedly states that he has trouble "picking a side".

http://oncampus.macl...he-york-strike/

Here is the meat of the article.

Issue One – It’s About the Cost of Education
Viewed only as a labour action you’d certainly tend to think this strike is about compensation for work, wouldn’t you? Not for all the graduate students on strike, it isn’t. This strike includes teaching assistants, research assistants, and contract faculty all in the same bargaining unit. With the exception of the last group, they’re almost all graduate students. These aren’t ordinary workers on strike. These are students in their own right. And they have all the same concerns common to all students, including the cost of their education.
The real cost of education isn’t only tuition. It includes however much it costs to live and support oneself while learning. This is an entirely uncontroversial claim, I hope. Every funding model I’ve ever seen takes into account cost of living, so I’ll assume we can agree on this much.
The pay that graduate students receive for their work as TAs and RAs is part of their funding package for school. These jobs come as part of the support that is guaranteed to every graduate student. The wage they receive, by the hour, isn’t remotely about the real value of the work they do. It’s just an indirect way of defraying the cost of graduate education.
Graduate students in their 20s-30s are living on about $14k/year, after the cost of tuition, books, etc. They almost certainly are, in many cases, assuming additional debt in order to get through their graduate degrees, or else living in poverty to avoid that. I’m not out to promote a position on whether this is a reasonable circumstance or not, because I appreciate it’s a controversial question. But it’s very important to understand that to graduate students this is the issue – how much it costs them to go to school.
So issue one is that this is a cost-of-education strike disguised as a labour action. And undergraduates, screwed by this as they may be, might pause to appreciate the elegance of the move. If undergrads could somehow get away with striking under the Labour Relations Act, in order to lessen the costs of their education, I do imagine they’d jump at the chance.

Issue Two – The Dangers of a Casual Workforce
For all those inclined to look at this through an educational lens, it’s important to realize the casualization of labour is happening all around. It’s sometimes characterized as a “flexible workforce,” for those who want to make it sound good. But under any terminology, it’s about moving work towards a lower cost and lower maintenance workforce that can be easily disposed of.
There are real dangers associated with this, however, and York is now feeling the effects of this head on. The staff and students who are on strike feel no long-term investment in York or commitment to its success. The York “brand” is taking a crap-kicking in this strike (to use the technical term for it) but most of the people on strike have no reason to care. The grad students will all move on in a few years and most of the instructors on strike, as has been noted, have a short-term investment in their jobs. Note that in the forced vote that just occurred, support for the continued strike was lowest among instructors. I’d bet, if the information could be isolated, that long-term instructors who have the reasonable expectation of a continuing relationship with York (even lacking any guarantee of one) support the strike less than anyone. They’ll still be around to clean up the mess and to live with the consequences, long after everyone else has moved on.
So this is issue two. The more universities rely on a casual workforce with no investment in the long-term health of the institution, the more they will be vulnerable to bitter and destructive labour actions. You can blame CUPE for this, and fairly point out that they don’t seem to care about what they are doing to York and to York’s students. But you can also blame York itself, for increasingly moving the bulk of instructor duties into the hands of people who have no real reason to care.
Issue Three – Saturation of the PhD Market
One of the points that’s been oft-repeated during this strike is that we’re talking about future PhDs and professors, and it’s awfully hard to rouse sympathy for the plight of these very privileged people. After all, it’s a case of “short-term pain for long-term gain” as someone put it lately, and even if graduate students live in poverty during their studies, they will surely reap the benefits in the future. Similarly, contract instruction can be seen as simply a period of unstable employment before PhD grads find better and more stable positions.
Well, that’s just not true anymore. Ask any university professor and they’ll give you the low down. Some decades ago, newly minted PhDs were getting recruited like nobody’s business. Just like computer programmers back before the tech market went bust, almost anyone qualified could walk into a good job. These days, the employment pickings are slim indeed. And so PhD students and recent grads aren’t willing to accept the “short-term pain for long-term gain” argument. It’s simply not plausible any more.
Now as many folks have pointed out, things are rough all around. There’s an obvious shortage of guarantees out there on the job market and there’s no special reason why PhD grads should be the exception. But in this case they do have at least one good reason to feel especially bitter about it. And that is that the oversupply of qualified workers, in this case, is being created by the very employers who then turn around and offer them only poorly-paid (in relative terms) short-term jobs with no benefits and few prospects.

Remember that universities are simultaneously the producers of PhD grads and are also, in many fields, the only real employment market for them. Some graduates in more applied fields have the opportunity to go to work for private employers, and they aren’t quite a captive workforce in the same way, but in many fields it’s barely an option at all.
I can’t imagine any solution for this problem. The academic marketplace is so small that it’s effectively a global concern. Even if Canada were to put strict limitations on the number of PhD slots available, it would make no real difference. But on a general level, “The Academy” (meaning the whole university establishment) has become irresponsible about the production of PhDs.
So issue three is that the employment market for professional academics is completely unlike any other. I can’t think of any other situation where a small cabal of employers has both a monopoly on the availability of work and also a monopoly on the production of qualified employees. If you were an employer in that situation, wouldn’t you be motivated to create an over-supply in the qualified workforce, or at least unconcerned about doing so? I know I would.
Conclusion
I’ve been trying hard not to pick sides in this strike. The truth is, I’m conflicted on any number of levels about what’s “right” here. But I do know it’s important to understand this strike, as best we can, and it can’t only be grasped from the perspective of either labour politics or educational politics. It’s a complicated amalgam of the two, and all the more challenging for that reason.
The uncomfortable punch line to all of this is the following. Absolutely none of the factors that I’ve cited are unique to York. It’s true all around that graduate students are poorly funded. They get enough to survive but not much more. It’s true all around that universities are increasingly reliant on casual workforces that have little or no long-term investment in the success and stability of their employers. They aren’t necessarily out to cause trouble, but when push comes to shove they have no particular reason to play nice. And it’s true all around that the job market for academics and PhD grads is quite bad. It’s not great for everyone else either, but then at least other workers are spared the feeling that their own institutions are complicit in creating the problem.
I leave you with those cheery thoughts. The problems are widespread and rooted in our institutional structures. I don’t know how to solve them, so I can only hope that wiser heads than mine are working on this. Because I do know for sure we aren’t going to find solutions if we continue to hang this situation either on the militancy of CUPE 3903 or on the stupidity of the York administration. It goes much, much deeper than that.


I personally think that protesters that put on the illusion that they support students is wrong. The fact is, neither side cares. It's all about money or watching out for slippery-slope precedents which effect either side getting/losing money.

More research needs to be done by students before they can support a side.
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#2 Jägermeister

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

Teachers should be classified as an "Essential Service" and therefore be not legally able to strike.

Edited by Jägermeister, 17 November 2012 - 11:37 AM.

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#3 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

Teachers should be classified as an "Essential Service" and therefore be not legally able to strike.


I think it is a good idea but unions obviously won't like that. On the other hand, I think the Government of Ontario has overstepped some boundaries when it comes to Constitution Rights. Their 2007 bill that is supposedly similar to Bill 115 was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is just silly for students to support teachers when it is really BOTH the teachers and the Government of Ontario that are depriving students of their basic right to education.
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#4 nucklehead

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

Fire them all and hire laid off Twinkie makers.
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#5 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

Teachers should be classified as an "Essential Service" and therefore be not legally able to strike.


The how do you propose they fight unfair legislation?
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#6 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

The how do you propose they fight unfair legislation?

Stay home and learn everything from wikipedia and chat forums. Oh snap, that's what students should do to fight being unfairly uneducated.


For the last few decades, all strikes in every sector have nothing to do with actual working conditions or pay and have everything to do with the union/employer power struggle. Half of the teachers won't know what the strike is about and the other half won't agree with it, but will do it anyway.

Meanwhile more lawyers are raking it in.

Edited by TOMapleLaughs, 17 November 2012 - 02:07 PM.

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#7 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

Stay home and learn everything from wikipedia and chat forums. Oh snap, that's what students should do to fight being unfairly uneducated.


For the last few decades, all strikes in every sector have nothing to do with actual working conditions or pay and have everything to do with the union/employer power struggle. Half of the teachers won't know what the strike is about and the other half won't agree with it, but will do it anyway.

Meanwhile more lawyers are raking it in.


Mmmmm... that's good rhetoric.
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#8 Harbinger

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

All you had to do was get to this part of the Article before knowing you didn't have to read any further.


"One protester has a sign that reads: "Teachers Put Students First". No they don't. Teachers in Ontario have not been participating in extracurricular activities with students thus far.
(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...r-teachers.html) Though it isn't stated that the teachers must do it, the fact that they pick an aspect of school that has nothing to do with Government illustrates that students are not first. Students are essentially put up as hostages."



Extra curricular activities are exactly that. Extras. It's the equivalent of complaining about going out for dinner and then complaining that they don't give you extra side dishes for free.
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#9 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

Mmmmm... that's good rhetoric.

You like that?

How 'bout 'Teachers and the government don't actually care about students?'
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#10 Pineapples

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

Is this for all teachers in Ontario? Is this for post secondary as well?
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#11 Dancin'Droid

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

For my brother's school it starts on the 19th and it isn't a strike. The teachers are still going to teach, they just won't do out of the classroom duties, like hall monitoring
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#12 Dancin'Droid

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

All you had to do was get to this part of the Article before knowing you didn't have to read any further.


"One protester has a sign that reads: "Teachers Put Students First". No they don't. Teachers in Ontario have not been participating in extracurricular activities with students thus far.
(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...r-teachers.html) Though it isn't stated that the teachers must do it, the fact that they pick an aspect of school that has nothing to do with Government illustrates that students are not first. Students are essentially put up as hostages."



Extra curricular activities are exactly that. Extras. It's the equivalent of complaining about going out for dinner and then complaining that they don't give you extra side dishes for free.


Most schools still have extra curricular activities as they don't want to punish the students
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#13 Dancin'Droid

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

Is this for all teachers in Ontario? Is this for post secondary as well?

It doesn't include post secondary school
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#14 Pineapples

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

It doesn't include post secondary school


ok good. 3 strikes in as many years is way too many <_<
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#15 Jägermeister

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

The how do you propose they fight unfair legislation?


The same way:

Border Security
Correctional Services
Food Inspection
Health Care
Law Enforcement
And many other workers do.

Edited by Jägermeister, 17 November 2012 - 05:28 PM.

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#16 inane

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

blah blah blah. Teachers can't do anything without being blamed that they are holding kids hostage. What possible action could they take to demonstrate that wouldn't have an impact on kids?
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#17 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

Find replacements, let teachers strike as long as they wish.
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#18 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

All you had to do was get to this part of the Article before knowing you didn't have to read any further.


"One protester has a sign that reads: "Teachers Put Students First". No they don't. Teachers in Ontario have not been participating in extracurricular activities with students thus far.
(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...r-teachers.html) Though it isn't stated that the teachers must do it, the fact that they pick an aspect of school that has nothing to do with Government illustrates that students are not first. Students are essentially put up as hostages."



Extra curricular activities are exactly that. Extras. It's the equivalent of complaining about going out for dinner and then complaining that they don't give you extra side dishes for free.


Big hole in this argument is that there's always a sign somewhere that says that they put kids first. They don't.

Extracurricular activities are extra, yes - I don't think Captain Obvious needs to sign in here - you just did his job for him. If teachers were really putting kids first, all activities involving kids will still continue. Kids need the extracurricular activities - very important for their development. Government never told them to do that - it isn't in their contract. If you're stopping work in which a contract has been signed between Government and the union, that's a different story.

Taking away extracurricular activities doesn't hurt the Government. They are using kids as hostage, as bargaining chips, where they can parade around claiming that the Government caused the kids to lose extracurricular activities.

Bottom line: I see their justification in striking against Bill 115, but I don't see how they still can legitimately claim that they put kids first. No, they don't. Bill 115 itself has nothing to do with students. However, its existence indirectly affect kids because teachers no longer can strike the way that they normally can.

The typical response by students to hop onto the teachers' bandwagon is the issue. I'm not saying that the Government cares. They don't. But it's always the unions that put up a facade that they care about students. At the end of the day, for unions, teachers go first, students are second. For Government, it's money first, and then students.

Edited by Dazzle, 17 November 2012 - 05:59 PM.

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#19 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:53 PM

The same way:

Border Security
Correctional Services
Food Inspection
Health Care
Law Enforcement
And many other workers do.


They are already doing it the same way. Teachers were threatened with hefty fines for any type of strike action last round so they took away extra curricular and got heat for that. The other big difference is the government typically doesn't pick fights with most of those mentioned above but push come to shove don't think any of them wouldn't resort to illegal strikes anyway.

I can't speak for the teachers of Ontario but I am sick and tired of all the attacks on teachers on thos board. Do you know anything about what happened during the last round of bargaining with the BC govt'? No, then shut up about it. This does not necessarily pertain to you but their are a lot a regulars who like to show up in these threads and spout off garbage about teachers, including the op, so unless you have actual knowledge in this area perhaps you should keep it to yourself.
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#20 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

blah blah blah. Teachers can't do anything without being blamed that they are holding kids hostage. What possible action could they take to demonstrate that wouldn't have an impact on kids?


If teachers have to bargain for their rights, fine. Don't go around misleading people that you support students. The union has no interest in students; their role is to protect teachers, first and foremost.

That is why students that go and support the teachers are most definitely misguided. Students should support themselves. Their voices NEED to be at the bargaining table. It adds another dimension of the argument and forces both sides to adhere to students' demands.
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#21 inane

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

If teachers have to bargain for their rights, fine. Don't go around misleading people that you support students. The union has no interest in students; their role is to protect teachers, first and foremost.

That is why students that go and support the teachers are most definitely misguided. Students should support themselves. Their voices NEED to be at the bargaining table. It adds another dimension of the argument and forces both sides to adhere to students' demands.


You didn't answer. Tell me what they can do without impacting students.
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#22 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

They are already doing it the same way. Teachers were threatened with hefty fines for any type of strike action last round so they took away extra curricular and got heat for that. The other big difference is the government typically doesn't pick fights with most of those mentioned above but push come to shove don't think any of them wouldn't resort to illegal strikes anyway.

I can't speak for the teachers of Ontario but I am sick and tired of all the attacks on teachers on thos board. Do you know anything about what happened during the last round of bargaining with the BC govt'? No, then shut up about it. This does not necessarily pertain to you but their are a lot a regulars who like to show up in these threads and spout off garbage about teachers, including the op, so unless you have actual knowledge in this area perhaps you should keep it to yourself.


I'm sick and tired of how union members claim that they support students. The truth is that teachers that really care are few and far between.

Just like there are good cops, average cops and bad cops.
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#23 inane

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:06 PM

I'm sick and tired of how union members claim that they support students. The truth is that teachers that really care are few and far between.

Just like there are good cops, average cops and bad cops.


Says who? You? You're an authority on this because...?
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#24 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:09 PM

You didn't answer. Tell me what they can do without impacting students.


You and I both know that there are very few solutions (if there are any at all!) that will not affect students whatsoever. The point I'm making is that teachers that want to strike about Bill 115 should put signs up to tell people to read what it does. I never said Bill 115 was a good move by the Government. In fact, I clearly stated previously that it seems to overstep some boundaries.

Instead, you have some union members going through the emotional route of falsely declaring that they support students, which in turn leads students going on a crusade without actually knowing what they're getting into.

The strike of 2007-2008 involved lots of students supporting the teachers. In reality, did these students really know why it took place? It is FAR more complicated than to pick the teachers' side or pick the Governments' side.

The whole thread wasn't meant to bash at teachers. It was meant to criticize how misguided students are when they jump on the teachers' side. The reverse is true if they support the Government's side.
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#25 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

Says who? You? You're an authority on this because...?


There's always the group of people (of which you seem to be apart of) that are unhappy when union members are targeted in a discussion, despite the fact that I also criticize how the Government also doesn't care about students.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. If someone's opinion aligns with yours, does it make it more valid than another person's opinion?

I'll leave that thought to you because you are trying to take this discussion personally.
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#26 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:13 PM

I'm sick and tired of how union members claim that they support students. The truth is that teachers that really care are few and far between.

Just like there are good cops, average cops and bad cops.



What proof do you have of this? What, do you know one teacher? Nothing but slander. The last round of bargaining and an on going fight between the BCTF and the govt' had to do with class size limitations and the fact they were illegally stripped from teachers. Where was your support on that one? You were just in here running your mouth about teachers once again. You see your chance to sling some mud and you take it.
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#27 inane

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:13 PM

You and I both know that there are very few solutions (if there are any at all!) that will not affect students whatsoever. The point I'm making is that teachers that want to strike about Bill 115 should put signs up to tell people to read what it does. I never said Bill 115 was a good move by the Government. In fact, I clearly stated previously that it seems to overstep some boundaries.

Instead, you have some union members going through the emotional route of falsely declaring that they support students, which in turn leads students going on a crusade without actually knowing what they're getting into.

The strike of 2007-2008 involved lots of students supporting the teachers. In reality, did these students really know why it took place? It is FAR more complicated than to pick the teachers' side or pick the Governments' side.

The whole thread wasn't meant to bash at teachers. It was meant to criticize how misguided students are when they jump on the teachers' side. The reverse is true if they support the Government's side.


So students are misguided whether they side with the teachers or the government? Again, given that they have no recourse that won't impact kids, I wonder why you would be so surprised when the actions they take impact kids. Even if it is things, like said above they don't even get paid to do.
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#28 inane

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

There's always the group of people (of which you seem to be apart of) that are unhappy when union members are targeted in a discussion, despite the fact that I also criticize how the Government also doesn't care about students.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. If someone's opinion aligns with yours, does it make it more valid than another person's opinion?

I'll leave that thought to you because you are trying to take this discussion personally.


What I take issue with is someone saying 'the truth is ...' when 'the truth' is whatever you want it to be. If you said it is your opinion that... that's fine, but you come in claiming some 'truth'.
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#29 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

What proof do you have of this? What, do you know one teacher? Nothing but slander. The last round of bargaining and an on going fight between the BCTF and the govt' had to do with class size limitations and the fact they were illegally stripped from teachers. Where was your support on that one? You were just in here running your mouth about teachers once again. You see your chance to sling some mud and you take it.


What proof do you have that teachers actually support students? There is no slander in this thread. Go read up what it actually means.

Having a negative opinion of Government/union members isn't slander. Saying that Stephen Harper is a war profiteer IS slander though.

Can you see the difference?

You do realize that the thread is regarding Ontario teachers right? I wasn't talking about BCTF.

Why is it a bad thing to hold a negative opinion of both Government AND union members? People bash Conservatives/Liberals/NDPers all the time and according to you, they would all be slandering.
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#30 Dazzle

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:26 PM

What I take issue with is someone saying 'the truth is ...' when 'the truth' is whatever you want it to be. If you said it is your opinion that... that's fine, but you come in claiming some 'truth'.


It actually is a figure of speech, but nonetheless, I see your point. I'm not going around here like I know it all. I don't.

The point that I have been trying to make is that it is folly to 'pick a side'. It is my opinion that neither side is really all that angelic.

The picture where a union member says "teachers support students" is why this thread was started to begin with. I believe it to be false.

Likewise, I should mention that the name of the Bill "Putting Students First" is a bit on the pretentious side too; it is putting Government and taxpayer money first.
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