What’s worse?

As I write this, it’s Sunday morning and the negotiations between CUPE and the government are apparently under a news blackout so we don’t know the status of things. Of course, the official word is that everyone hope that an agreement can be reached and that no job action takes place tomorrow.

CTV News has published this article listing the status of Ontario School Districts with respect to their plans for Monday. Some have no workers organized by CUPE and so for them, it will be business as usual. The majority do have at least some as members. I suspect that the majority has many members to contribute to the 55 000 that will be affected.

It’s interesting to see the decisions made by school districts. Even around here, the English Public School board plans to be open with the English Catholic School board closing. Similar decisions are made with the French language boards.

So, I wondered – what’s worse – being closed or being open?

Being Closed

  • those that are not part of the job action will be expected to show up for work and potentially cross a picket line
  • parents who were notified late last week will be looking for child care for students too young to be left at home
  • a student day is lost – will boards treat it as a PD Day for teachers and claw back one later in the year?

Being Open

  • those that are not part of the job action may be forced to cross a picket line which can have immediate issues or later when everyone is back working together
  • maintenance issues will still have to be addressed but with non-unionized staff – parents, principals?
  • a student day is lost – will boards treat it as a PD Day for teachers and claw back one later in the year?

None of the Above

This may be the worst of all. According to the article, there are four school districts that haven’t made an announcement yet. That means that people need to plan for “all of the above”.

Work actions are never a pleasant thing. There are huge issues when participants on all sides are not on the same page.

What can you add to the above?

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

5 thoughts on “What’s worse?”

  1. Let me first say that I’m happy to hear that a temporary agreement was reached and we didn’t have to live through either of these two options. Both have their downfalls, as you indicated. I think that the key reason for the difference decisions among the Boards were the number of people involved if there was a CUPE strike. In some Boards, CUPE members include caretakers, EAs, ECEs, speech pathologists, secretaries (I think), librarians, and the list goes on. In our Board, CUPE only includes caretakers and maintenance workers. We were going to be open, but the Catholic Board would close, as there are more CUPE members. A few Boards have no CUPE members, so they would be open with business as usual. There are so many different contracts being negotiated right now, and it’s hard to know what will be coming next. Hopefully the creation of some more fair contracts.



  2. Strikes are difficult! At our house I wasn’t sure if I should make alternate child care plans or not. I suspect I’ll be missing some kids who won’t get the message that we’re open today. It was all very confusing – a bit like waiting for a snow day announcement. But I’m glad my CUPE colleagues won’t be on the picket line.


  3. I have very mixed feelings. I lived through several teacher strikes as a student. I really resented the missed school days at the time and some of t hat remains. After one long strike (several weeks) we “made up the time” by adding some minutes to the school day for the rest of the year. I wasn’t convinced that really worked back then and after being a teacher for a number of years I am convinced it didn’t work out right.

    As a teacher, I understand and can relate to teacher arguements. My cousin was a teacher on strike in Oakland California. He’s a big union guy. My school doesn’t have a union. My wife’s school does and that has definitly been a mixed experience but more negitive for her than positive.

    I just wish teachers were paid and treated as the professionals they are and strike was something that others did.


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