Ottawa CFRA radio's Lowell Green is convinced that elementary teachers could be making an average of $90,000 plus tremendous benefits because he heard Dalton McGuinty mention this. He believes that teachers (through the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario) would be crazy not to accept McGuinty's offer of three percent for four years. Trust me. $90,000 would be on the upper end, not the average.
I make about $30,000 per year from occasional teaching. I'm lucky to be teaching almost every school day. September is usually a slow month. If teachers will be making on average $90,000 per year, I must be on the very left and low side of the bell curve. That means that there must be a regular teacher making $150,000 per year. I only wish I were making $90,000 per year. I wish I were making $60,000 per year.
I love hearing the callers who say, "Fire the teachers," if they do not accept McGuinty's contract. Good luck in trying to find qualified teachers with experience to replace all of us teachers. It takes many years of teaching to become a great teacher. It is probably true that every public school elementary teacher could be replaced--except for French teachers. However, would they be qualified teachers? Would they be dedicated? I can imagine half of them resigning in the middle of the year because may lack the support of the administration to help deal with unruly students.
"Let the private sector deal with schooling." I hear that also. No doubt, there are great schools like Upper Canada College, Bishop Strachan, Crescent School, and the Toronto French School. At the same time, there are fly-by operations that open shop one day, then close a year or two later because they are unable to manage their funds. Who would want to teach in the fly-by's? The quality of education would suffer for many students, especially those from poor families.
Get the facts straight, Lowell. A teacher's salary of $90,000 after four years will be on the high end of the salary scale, not the average. Don't mislead your listeners.