Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lessons for responding to a wage freeze...

The Ontario government, like many others across Canada, has announced a wage freeze for public sector workers. But workers are not taking it lying down.

Lancaster House reported:

Labour leaders voiced their displeasure with the government's action. Sid Ryan, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, called the government's measures an "opening salvo" by a government trying to cut costs. Warren Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, declared: "It's difficult for workers to swallow some of this stuff when you see bankers and investment houses ... going back to multi-million bonuses after just being bailed out."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is the government worried?...

A mysterious phone call from a BC government lawyer to the BCTF invited the BCTF to discuss "remedies" for not having what is called "manner and consequence" language bargained under the changes to the School Act that were imposed in 2002. At that time, despite a judicial order, ALL language on class size and composition was removed - including language that does not impose "limits", but rather the "manner" in which a class is created and the "consequences" of creating such a class. For example, language that provided TOC time to teachers with more than 2 students with an IEP was removed. This is "consequence" language.

It seems the government is finally realizing they went way beyond the pale when they chose to simply legislate the removal of all our class size and composition language and they are now worried about what the Supreme Court will say.

This is good news for teachers AND students and provides a glimmer of hope as we prepare to enter the next round of bargaining.