Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Ontario Liberals have lost the next provincial election.

Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten has decided to impose conditions of employment on Ontario's public elementary and secondary school teachers.  She did mention that she would repeal Bill 115 after the the conditions of employment had been imposed.  She did use the term "collective agreement."  However, a collective agreement requires two or more parties to agree.  There will be no collective agreement between the teachers and their employers, the school boards.

Broten assumes that by repealing Bill 115, the teachers will go back to work normally.  She assumes that teachers will go back to participating in extra-curricular activities.  That will not happen.  Teachers will likely not participate in extra-curricular activities for the next two years.  They will not organize field trips or meet with parents after school.  There will be no grade-eight or high school graduation ceremonies in the evening.  There will be no evening high school dances.

The Liberals may assume that the education system will get back to normal.  Unfortunately for them, that will not happen.  It will be likely that teachers will protest in front of the Liberal leadership convention site in Toronto on Friday and Saturday of the convention weekend.

There will likely be an election this spring.  I don't know which voters will support the Liberals based on Laurel Broten and Dalton McGuinty imposing conditions of employment on the teachers.  If one hates the teachers, one will support the Conservatives.  If one supports the teachers, one will support the NDP.

It will be likely that teachers will campaign against the Liberals and Conservatives in the next election.  Most likely, Laurel Broten's riding will be targeted.  To the teachers, the Liberals are just another group of right-wing Conservatives.  In fact, Dalton McGuinty and Laurel Broten made the former Conservative premier Mike Harris, and education minister John Snobelen look good by comparison.

No amount of salvaging by the current Liberal leadership candidates will help restore their relationship with the teachers of Ontario.

Excellent blogpost by a teacher to Dalton McGuinty: