After passing on Ontario’s First Final Offer in November, which was for 12% increase, and passing on Ontario’s Second Really Final Offer in early December, the teachers begrudgingly accepted the province’s Final, Final, Really Final, Officially Final, This Time We Really Mean It Offer yesterday, settling for a mere 10.4%(!) salary increase over four years. They also get improved benefits, and a total of 240 minutes of preparation time (that’s FOUR HOURS folks!) a week, which means, they will even spend less time in the classroom than they do now, but get paid more. With the new agreement, Ontario’s top teacher salary will be around $92,700. Not bad for a job that has the summer off, a week in spring, two weeks at Christmas, and retirement after only 20 years on the job.
Kudos to the Ontario government, for showing some backbone in negotiating with the union. Good job. Oh, and you caved, not because you wanted to keep your record clean and you need it to boast the next election, but you caved so the Poor Children of Ontario can stay in school. I see. Right.
Union said the strike threat wasn’t about the money, oh no… It was about the Poor Children of Ontario, and how the “funding gap” between elementary and the other schools is still too big. Here’s a thought: cancel the 10.4% wage increase (700000 students, funding gap of $700 each, is a total of $500M, the 10.4% increase has a value of $700M), and apply it to the funding gap. Problem solved! It’s not about the money? Great!
Did I mention the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund is the largest single-profession pension plan in the country, with over $108 B in assets?