Today Jerry Dias, president of Unifor and Harvey Bischof, president of OSSTF showed the world their true colours. With millions of Ontario citizens praising Doug Ford’s cost-cutting initiatives the union leaders are desperately hitting back. But, mainstream media’s coverage of union leaders comments, such as Dias’ hot-headed speech may have backfired.
Despite union attacks on Ford and attempts to discredit him, taxpayers across the province are not fooled. In a public statement, Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce brilliantly and succinctly summarized the situation. In effect, Lecce communicated that Unions and their leaders are paid to protect the interests of its members, in this case teachers. On the other hand, the Ontario government is elected to protect the interests of all citizens.
Ever since Ford was elected premier of Ontario with an overwhelming majority, unions have been on the attack. They have spent millions upon millions of dollars stating that they are acting in the best interests of students. Personally, I seriously doubt that. If they really want to act for the best interests of students, then why fight the online courses? Also, all those efforts and millions spent on advertising against Ford’s move to more effective education system would better help students in other ways. Then there is the whole decision around striking. Someone please explain to me how locking the children out of school is in any way helping the students?
It is very clear that the unions are acting only in the best interests of their members, the teachers. With the statistics publicly shared by Lecce, taxpayers simply don’t believe the unions. Specifically, two pieces of information stick out. Firstly, that teachers wages have increased over 80% since 2003. Secondly, Ontario teaches are second best paid in the nations. Then there is the point that the number of students since 2003 have only increased about 1% and yet the education budget has skyrocketed.
Yet, Harvey Bischof has gone so far as to threaten the provincial government. He outright has stated if the teachers don’t get the money they want, they will force the government out of office. As far as I understand, the unions have never supported a liberal or fiscally responsible government. Jerry Dias himself even stated to Smoky Thomas, that he decided just after the election that ‘This was going to get bad’. By the way, today Smoky Thomas made a personal derogatory remark about Ford to the effect that maybe he was a problem student. They seem to forget that Ford was elected for his promise of fiscal responsibility.
Ontario taxpayers have had enough with unions holding children hostage in order to negotiate even higher salaries. This union is way too strong and the government needs to legislate them to act in the best interests of the students and their parents. Union leaders don’t want this because they know that they won’t get what they’re asking for. The fact that you can’t fire a teacher, regardless of how incompetent they are, speaks volumes. A drive by teacher parking lots shows top of line cars, more expensive than what the parents in the same school drive. Then there are the short-term and long-term disability benefits. The joke in school lunchrooms is ‘break a nail and go on disability’. Really, enough is enough!
Now back to Jerry Dias, who went to great efforts to highlight how employers have left Ontario despite the superstar performance of his union members. Dias even went so far as to advocate that the union attempt to take all of the money from the companies and forget about competitive agreements. Clearly, Dias has no idea of how business decisions are made or what it takes to develop industries.
There are reasons that companies have been leaving Ontario and Canada over the last 10 years. Basically, it is because the governments that the unions help put in power have made it impossible for manufacturing companies to survive here. The reason the jobs are now being lost isn’t because of the quality of the workers, it’s because of the fiscal and other policies of the governments that they helped put in power.
Let’s think back to Kathleen Wynne’s disastrous practices, policies and exuberant deficit spending which recklessly destroyed the environment for Ontario business. Then lets look back to Trudeau’s incompetent monkey business, corrupt-like behaviour and industry destroying policies and practices which have caused companies like Encana to leave the country. Do you really think that energy intensive industries are going to be able to survive in an environment with Trudeau-style deficit spending, carbon-tax grab and anti-business regulations?
Of course companies are leaving Ontario and taking jobs with them. If union leaders really want to help their members, they’ll stop supporting Liberal governments who make short-lived promises at the expense of Canada’s long-term health. It is now time to pay for the reckless decisions of the governments that unions helped put into office.
Perhaps Dias, Bischof and Thomas don’t understand this and knowing they can’t do anything about it, are desperately trying to ruffle everyone. After all, a drowning person will grab onto someone who is trying to rescue them and pull them underwater until they drown together. It’s time the union leaders stopped thinking about their own interests and started working with the rest of us to make Ontario better for everyone.