Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Dear Teachers’ Union

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Please don’t take this away from us…

So I know your choices are supposed to impact the government; and I understand you want to have your voices heard, and they are. But you’re being heard by all the wrong people. The people who are hearing you are the students. You cancelled our extra-curricular activities to get a rise out of the government. But it isn’t working as much as you’d like. Cancelling prom, and school assemblies and other groups and clubs doesn’t do you or us any good.

I have read and I understand Bill 115. Unlike a lot of students at my school I have read it, and I understand why you are upset, but I also understand why the government has done this. The government is just trying to protect Ontario, they don’t want our province/cities going bankrupt like Stockton, San Bernardino, Central Falls, Jefferson County, Harrisburg, Boise County, Idaho, Michigan, Allen Park and many other cities in the US have filed for bankruptcy, some have been denied and some accepted. Do you want us to go bankrupt too? And there are other unions that are getting money cuts, and pay freezes and other things too, they just aren’t making a big deal about it. In the last week the doctors (silently) signed a contract for a pay cut. My father works for Staples and he never got the choice to store up his sick days like teachers have. It was unfair to the rest of the county for the government to give the teachers that extra. So really, it’s only fair that you can’t store them up anymore. They are not being taken away from you, you can still use them, you just can’t cash them in for cash until you retire.

Now, as for the argument on whether you are getting a right stripped from you. “Rights not reduced – (6)  Nothing in this Act or in a regulation or order in council made under this Act shall be interpreted or applied so as to reduce a right or entitlement under the Human Rights Code.” Taken directly from Bill 115. I know it may seem like a right is being taken away, but really it’s not. The only reason you can’t protest longer than a day is to protect us (students). If the teachers union decides to have a strike for two weeks (especially this close to exams) that means that students get two weeks less time with their teachers to understand what is happening in the exam. A lot of students would fail class if this were to happen. So many of us would fall behind, and most likely fail our exams.

Teachers have told me since I was a kid, “You can do anything, you just need to put your mind to it. The right group of friends and you can get anywhere you want to…” We have looked up to our teachers since we were kids. When you go into high school you’re told by older students that you should join at least one club. And so we do. My friend and I joined tech crew. Honestly, I thought I’d hate it, but I have been in it for a year and a half, and it has changed who I am. Being in tech crew I have gotten to meet so many fabulous speakers and people. Some of my friendships have gotten so much stronger. Tech crew is now a way I define myself. I know that a lot of other students define themselves by their groups.

David, Fiona, Becca, and Rachel

So a lot of other students at my school hate being at school and learning and everything, but the reason they aren’t failing is because of their teams, if their grades drop too much they will be kicked out of the team or club. A lot more students will flunk out if our extra-curriculars’ are taken away. So many teachers at my school care so much about us, but if kids started flunking they would take it on themselves. Do you (the teachers union) want that hurt on your back? Do you want to see kids who have done so good in school until now fail and flunk out of school? I sure wouldn’t want that on my back.

Grade 12’s of this year won’t get a prom, they won’t get that awesome experience of growing up. That is not fair at all, they have worked so hard to get through four years of high school, Prom is a way of saying, “You made it! Celebrate now before it gets harder!” We want to enjoy high school, make it bearable. Being in a club or on a sports team makes it a little easier to bear all the weight of school. This fight isn’t worth losing students over. Is it?

People always tell me, “The choices you make today will affect you in the future.” I have learned that, it seems the teachers’ union hasn’t. If you did, we would still have our clubs, because you would know that this isn’t going to end up well. So please give us back our clubs. Because if you don’t you are tearing a part of us away. You’re erasing a part of our being.

Thank you for your time and your consideration, I hope you make the right choice for our future.

Grace Rosien – Eastwood Collegiate Institute (ECI)