Sympathy well runs dry

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The Article

Ontario teachers are giving us an education in groundless bellyaching

 So there he was, the leader of one of Ontario’s largest high school teachers’ unions. He sat on national television and explained there was going to be a day of action, and his members would, in his words, “take time off from their volunteering at school to prepare lessons and show the government that they are angry” and don’t want a pay freeze.

I’m sorry! Time off volunteering at school? First, that’s nonsense and you know it.

Most teachers wouldn’t attend a day of action during their vacation because they’re still at the cottage, because teachers have the entire summer off and are paid handsomely with our tax dollars through July and August. Also because, quite frankly, most of them are not particularly political in the first place.

How about the idea that they don’t want their wages frozen? In Ontario, and the situation is not radically different in the rest of Canada, teachers have been given increases almost unheard of elsewhere, which is almost unprecedented in a groaning economy and certainly enormously generous. That’s happened because the Liberal government in Ontario bribed teachers to be nice, purchased union passivity, gave our money to teachers to prevent those same teachers from going on strike and thus giving grief and hardship to the very people — parents — who pay their wages in the first place.

Teaching isn’t easy, but nor is it so terribly hard. Very few Canadians would refuse to exchange their jobs for an indoor life with three months paid vacation, $75,000 a year or more, and retirement in their early 50s with around $60,000 a year for the rest of their lives. I don’t begrudge you, but please stop moaning on that you’re more giving than Mother Teresa and more exploited than some poor bugger enslaved on a 19th-century Mississippi plantation!

I’m tired of hearing about burn out, tired of hearing mythology about getting to school at 7 a.m. and not leaving until 6 p.m., tired of sick days, tired of showing videos when you should be teaching, tired of your activists and leaders with their leftism and social engineering, tired of pretending that public education works so well when, in fact, it is highly questionable.

Teachers in this country have frequently put all of their resources into defeating provincial governments and federal politicians of whom they disapprove.

They have campaigned tirelessly for parties they knew would give them almost anything they wanted. It’s not so easy now, because the money is running out, and even the leftist parties can’t help you much anymore.

The problem you really face is the deposit of sympathy in the bank of the body politic has been run dry. People care, but not that much — they’re more concerned, and understandably so, with their own jobs and futures.

We like you, we respect you, we wish you well, but we also wish you’d teach, give up politics and show a bit of gratitude for the way you’re treated, compensated and cuddled by the rest of society. Hey teacher, leave our cash alone!

Now I’m off to double detention, because I’ve been a very naughty boy indeed.

Michael Coren

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