Teachers Wanted: Except nobody’s that desperate


Ontario’s inept premier government wants to “reopen” schools – in-person teaching – but has a shortage of qualified teachers.  Ontario is so desperate for warm bodies that people I know in the ESL trade from Ontario are receiving emails and messages like this:

Teaching in person?  In an era of COVID-19?  With Ford and Ontario’s incompetent response to the pandemic?  And that’s before we talk about budget gouges (they’re not cuts).  And the failure to provide basis maintenance of schools.

Then there’s the issue of non-union wages (as if Ontario would pay them decent wages, let alone union wages) that likely won’t include hazard pay, safety equipment or benefits.  There’s no word on how the Ontario Teachers’ Federation feels about hiring non-union staff, but the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation sounds ready to toe the line in order to keep it a union shop.  Those I’ve talked to who are qualified teachers and have ambitions of unionized jobs when they eventually return home are saying, “Not just no, HELL no!” Nobody wants to go back.

From the World Socialist (WSWS) Web Site:

Ontario teachers union leader emphatically opposes job action to stop reckless school reopening

By Matthew Richter

8 September 2020

In an interview with Toronto-based CP24 television last week, the head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), Harvey Bischof, admitted that the government-big business drive to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic is endangering teachers’ health and even lives.

He pointed to the lack of social distancing measures, the Ontario Conservative government’s refusal to reduce class sizes, and the failure of the government and school boards to provide teachers with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to substantiate this assessment.

Yet when Bischof was asked what the trade unions intend to do about these life-threatening work conditions, his answer was unequivocal. “If the question is whether we are planning some illegal job action, the answer is a flat out no,” he asserted.

At the end of July, Beau of the Fifth Column did this “light hearted” video about a shortage of teachers in the US.  Ontario may not be recruiting Canadian military members, but a lot of this still rings true.

Comments

  1. jrkrideau says

    With Ford and Ontario’s incompetent response to the pandemic?

    To be fair to the idiot Premier Ford, once he finally realized there was a real problem his behaviour seems to have risen to barely acceptable on the day-to-day dealings with the pandemic—translation he actually listened to some of what his real experts, and, not his kitchen cabinet, were saying. This level of performance was a surprise to us. in general, When comparing Doug with his brother brother Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto, Rob appears to have been the better of the two.

    To be fair to the idiot Premier Ford, once he finally realized there was a real problem his behaviour seems to have risen to barely acceptable on the day-to-day dealings with the pandemic—translation he actually listened to some of what his real experts, and, not his kitchen cabinet, were saying. This level of performance was a surprise to us.

    We were lucky that he had not been in office quite long enough to implement the worst of the changes to the health system that the Conservatives had planned. It was a little like Stephen Harper not having time to wreak the Canadian financial system before the great financial crisis in 2008.

    To be fair, the Liberal government had left some serious problems which of course the Cons were not smart enough to actually try and fix. In the case of residential care for the elderly they simply made it worse.

    It was much more important to cut the deficit and, for ideological reasons, to reduce government size and programs.

    The attack on the Ontario public education system was another way to save money; there may have been a plan among some of Doug’s advisors to push for more private education. Doug who dropped out of community college in his first term does not have a great appreciation for or understanding of education. The attempt to drastically cut funding for autism services did not reflect well on him. BTW Jason Kennedy is reported to be trying to do the same type of thing in Alberta at the moment.

    I hadn’t seen everything about the unqualified teachers but it sounds like and idea that the Cons would be pulling in from the USA.

    It’s a bit early to say for sure but it sounds like the new school year in Ontario is going to be a klusterfuk in some parts of the province. It might go half decently in some other areas that are not as exposed to the virus but I’m not wildly optimistic. The Québec experience is not encouraging, particularly in and around Montreal.

    CBC Radio had an interesting interview with the president of retired teachers of Ontario (I think that’s the title) who was saying that she did not expect a lot of retired teachers to return to the classroom. As she put it, she’s over 70, has high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. There was no way she was going back to teaching. I expect a lot of other retired teachers will feel the same. There may be some younger people who dropped out of teaching profession who may want to re-qualify given the “slightly” dodgy state of the rest of the economy.

  2. says

    We’ve been back to in person teaching since the start of the year. Every day another school has got a Covid case. Big question at Casa Giliell is whether the kids ‘ school will close first or mine.
    Oh, and my special Ed Centre is lacking 600 teacher hours every week because there are simply not enough teachers, but if you think that would make the ministry consider giving me a permanent contract, you re wrong.

  3. says

    I have a friend who’s a radiologist at a big hospital out in Utah. He got COVID early on and recovered fine and has been doing jobs that require human contact and cleaning jobs, since he seems to now be immune to it. “But what if it turns out you can get it again?” I asked. “Then I’ll be a subject of an important paper.”

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