Scott Thompson: What do I want for Christmas? Peace between teachers and the province

Teachers on the picket line in front of a high school in Guelph, Ont., Dec. 4, 2019. .
Teachers on the picket line in front of a high school in Guelph, Ont., Dec. 4, 2019. . Stephen C. Host/CP

All I want for Christmas is for the 40 years of conflict between teachers’ unions and the government of the day to stop.

And to add sand to the ice cream, they’re holding their latest dance during perhaps one of the most stressful family times of the year.

Nothing says “peace and goodwill” like our regular teacher contract labour disruptions playing at a school near you.

Is that resonating with anyone?

READ MORE: Teachers’ unions to announce legal challenge against Bill 124 Thursday

Twice we’ve had both sides of the discussion on the show, and twice I have come to same conclusion.

After interviewing the president of the OSSTF, Harvey Bischof, and Education Minister Stephen Lecce — as well as his parliamentary assistant — I can’t help thinking, as a parent and having been a student, that I have heard all this before in decades past.

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It’s always about the students, wages, class size, sick leave, maternity leave, prep time, assistants, and every other demand you can think of.

The only difference between this discussion and the others in the past — whether the government of the day is NDP, Progressive Conservative or Liberal — is e-learning.

The conflict was going on long before the technology invented. Are we not suppose to be embracing technology? The kids are.

The teacher unions will say it’s all about the kids. Government says it’s all about wages and benefits.

When you ask for specifics, they go deeper into the weeds, trying to confuse us all with their side of the story.

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READ MORE: Ontario government, OSSTF agree to return to bargaining table

Despite the rhetoric, the good news is it appears both sides are back at the bargaining table on Monday and Tuesday.

Parents want what’s best for their kids, not the unions or politicians — they have other priorities.

Parents are tired of their kids being used as pawns by others who have their own personal agenda.

Here’s hoping the new year brings change so we can finally stop 40 years of conflict.

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