Monday, May 12, 2008

"Get A Grip On Reality"

So says the Ottawa (Canada) Citizen to the local teachers union.

Let's close with this amusing quote from the elementary teachers' website: "Your local collective agreement is a treasure chest full of rights, entitlements and protection against arbitrary treatment." A treasure chest indeed, and one that's quite full already.
What are these teachers asking for?

- a five-per-cent salary increase in each year of a two-year deal;

- higher starting pay for teachers and one year less to get to top salary;

- class-size reductions and caps in all grades;

- 10 days a year for report cards and assessment;

- a near-doubling of preparation time;

- actual teaching and supervision time to decline to 1,125 minutes a week from 1,500;

- full benefit costs to be covered by school boards; and

- principals and vice-principals to be prevented from teaching.

The salary and benefit enhancements are separate from what provincial union president David Clegg describes as the teachers' top goal. In an interview, Clegg says the teachers want the province to eliminate a $700-per-student funding gap between elementary and high schools. That would cost something in the neighbourhood of $800 million.

If what they already have is treasure, what would you call these additions?

2 comments:

Elaine C. said...

"- principals and vice-principals to be prevented from teaching."

Wait, what?

Off the top of my head, it actually sounds like a *good* idea, to have the principals and AP's teaching... It'd keep them from getting disconnected, and forgetting what the classroom was like.

Of course, my Principal and APs rock, so... ;) (My Principal is also a former math teacher, so bonus points there too!)

Ronnie said...

Well I personally think having one person teaching and administrating is a conflict of interests. I remember at SITE council they at one time had a complaint about it, since we had a half VP/teacher and it raised issues over reviews and feelings of impropriety in having someone who controls discipline also controlling academics. I wanted to just cut the VP part of the person's job since our administration easily could have handled itself without her, but there was full support of every other member to promote her, costing us additional money for her and a replacement. If the plan to prevent principals and vice-principals from teaching just makes them full time principals or VPs then I would rather see them throw additional funding at teaching or teaching materials.

If their pay is as low and unattractive as it is in the United State I understand asking for higher salaries across-the-board, but asking to teach less is less than honorable. From what I've seen teachers should be required to teach more hours not less, since many don't put in the time it really takes to teach properly anyway. But the main thing to remember is in bargaining like this people always over ask and then reduce their demands, so after that happens these could be almost reasonable.