I taught for several years and during that time I came to the conclusion that teachers’ unions do more harm than good.
Example: the union actively encourages ostracization of teachers who do not wish to participate in job action or otherwise do not wish to be part of the union.
Does this help children? No, of course it doesn’t. It poisons the atmosphere that is supposed to nurture them.
During negotiation times unions would send memos intentionally fanning the flames of discontentment and anger: “the board is up to its old tricks”.
Job action itself deprives children of extra-curricular activities (grade 8 graduations have been cancelled) and class time.
The collective bargaining process and the grievance procedure that a unionized environment brings are positives. The problem is that, by allowing strikes and other job action the rights of unions and workers are put above the rights of children.
And that’s wrong.
Of course, the Toronto District School Board’s notoriety serves as a painful reminder that the needed change in the education system is multifaceted.
The conventional wisdom used to be that an organization gets the union it deserves. Food for thought.