You’re not a union

I don’t normally eavesdrop on conversations but this one was so loud that it couldn’t have been avoided.

The setting – a coffee shop two towns over and having a coffee with a friend of mine, another teacher. Sitting right next to us was a teacher and another gentleman who I assumed was a unionized worker from his comments. Like I said, it was loud and interruptive but darn it, I wish I could have recorded it.

All that I have is my memory but the conversation was about the education situation in the province. It’s comforting that what’s happening is observed by more than teachers! Here’s what I remembered – had it been recorded, it might have been a little more precise but I’ve got the gist of it.

About unions

You’re not a union no matter what Ford says. If you were, you would have already taken a strike vote and set a deadline of midnight on August 31. No contract, no new school year.

About different teacher federations

How can you expect to get a good contract? You have a whole bunch of different groups negotiating for the same thing. When one group settles, everyone else will cave.

About rotating strikes

Are you considering rotating strikes? You could start by striking in Conservative ridings.

About the kids

You guys worry too much about the kids and what happens to them when you’re on strike. Strike is strike. If the parents have to look after the kids, they’ll put pressure on the government.

About the Sunshine list

Yeah, there are people who make over 100 grand but they don’t start there. They work their way up a grid. Seniority is what counts.

About benefits

You’ve got good benefits but ours are better. You should strike for jobs and better benefits.

About seniority

Seniority is all that counts. We date and time every time someone is hired. Last in, first out.

I guess teachers aren’t alone!


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