Scott Thompson: Ontario teachers’ unions need to progress after more than 40 years of conflict

1-day strike held by Ontario high school teachers and support workers
WATCH: (Dec. 4, 2019) Thousands of teachers in Ontario hit the picket lines for a one-day strike.

Here we are, the day after a one-day strike by Ontario high school teachers. How are you feeling?

What has been accomplished? What was gained?

READ MORE: ‘A significant warning’: What a one-day Ontario teachers’ strike means

I had both Education Minister Stephen Lecce and the head of the secondary school teachers union (OSSTF), Harvey Bischof, on the show the day of the strike.

The union offered a list of demands centred around students, while never mentioning teachers’ pay. The government said it has added more money to the education system than ever before.

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This is all about wages.

The only thing in common between the government and teachers’ union is this: we have heard it all before.

They are the same arguments that are presented every couple of years, leading up to and including contract time.

READ MORE: Ontario public high school teachers hold 1-day strike after contract talks stall

Nothing has changed since I was a student 40 years ago, except for the names, faces, technology — and the fact that I’m the parent, not the student.

Pick a past year and pick a past political party. NDP, Conservative or Liberal, they have all been in the same place or have been threatened if they don’t accede to union demands.

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It seems the entire world is advancing, except for how the teachers’ unions and the government of the day reach a contract settlement.

It’s not 1975.

We love our teachers, but work it out the way the rest of us in the private sector have to — with much less.

I’m a parent. We’ll make sure our kids are looked after.

Stop using them as pawns in your labour negotiations.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML- Hamilton.​​​​