If Doug Ford's government gets its way, Ontario risks losing its educational edge - 2020-01-26
This past week, Ontario's elementary and Catholic teachers joined their secondary school counterparts in staging one-day walkouts from their work. There is no question that these walkouts, as well as teachers "working to rule," present problems and challenges for students and parents.
But while this is undeniably true, it is also true that what teachers are fighting for in staging these job actions is the loss of quality of the conditions of teaching and learning, without which the consequences for students and their parents would be even more problematic.
As in other provinces and many other countries, provincial laws in Ontario restrict teachers' legitimate concerns – what they can protest about, or bargain for – to issues of salary, benefits and working conditions. Teachers are expressly prohibited from negotiating on issues of policy (for example, curriculum), even while policies may be serious issues of concern to them.