Grumpy’s Pissed and here’s WHY?


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“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” –imagesCAGNGYLPMalcolm Forbes

I guess I did a terrible job in over 25 years of classroom teaching. Reading the SCHOOLuninformed comments from respondents to articles in newspapers and reading the press, I see myself and my peers have failed miserably. You see the illogical unsupported statements being made show that those that bash teachers did not pick up the lessons I drove hard and with conviction on a daily/weekly basis.

These were lessons like:

You live in a democracy –fight for your rights and stand up for what has been won for you by you forefathers.

With rights come responsibilities. One of which is to be an INFORMED citizen. If you want to argue issues GET ALL THE FACTS STRAIGHT.

If you are going to debate an issue do it with knowledge because knowledge is power.

You do have the power to affect change in a democracy if you put your mind and heart into it.

My kids got involved in issues directly. We confronted Toronto Airport when the coyotes there were to be shot. We lobbied for “milkweed” being taken off the noxious weed list when we were tagging and learning about monarch butterflies. One of my students wrote Prime Minister Trudeau back when mortgage interest rates were 21% and her parents couldn’t afford to buy a home. She got a hand written response from the Prime Minister. I’m sure he was truly moved by her words because I surely was.

One of the most important lessons I preached was: DON’T BELIEVE everything you READ and what you HEAR. Go that extra mile to get the REAL answers otherwise you come off as being uneducated, uniformed and, I dare say, sometimes idiotic. If you are going public with a comment you better have the data/information to back it up. Otherwise you are no better than the politician or reporter who spews misinformation.

Here are just a few examples in the Governments dispute with the teachers.

Laurel Broten, your education minister keeps saying the elementary teachers walked out of NEGOTIATIONS after ONE HOUR.

THE TRUTH: The teachers were confronted by government bankruptcy lawyers who had no knowledge of education issues and said “take or leave it” or the government will legislate it. Why would you remain at the table to NEGOTIATE when there was a hardline no-negotiation stance? There WAS nothing to NEGOTIATE!

Teachers are employed by School Boards. Their contracts are negotiated with School Boards. That’s where they have been negotiating all along. Now the artificial government deadline of Dec. 31st, with the unworkable parameters in Bill 115, have made local negotiation IMPOSSIBLE. Over half the school boards in Ontario have written the Minister saying so and asking that Bill 115 be either withdrawn or changed.

Every news report starts saying the teachers are angry or are fighting over the wage freeze. THAT IS TOTALLY NOT TRUE. All of the unions accepted a wage freeze right from the beginning. They ‘re fighting over Legislated contract strips that were duly negotiated with SCHOOL BOARDS –some as long as over 40 years ago.

So, not only is your Ontario government in a Prorogue situation (You have no government!) but your locally elected School Board Member has had all of its power usurped.  Does this sound like a democracy? You’ve elected people but they can do nothing. Laurel Broten has the power of a dictator in her hands. The opposition can’t even challenge this. Is this not worth fighting for?

DEMOCRACY?

Teachers are accused of using students in this battle but it was the government who set the table for this by calling the Bill “Putting Students First”. Ladies and gentlemen Bill 115 has nothing to do with students and everything to do with teacher contracts and the legal negotiations for same. The very name of this Bill was meant to incite the public.

FACT:  “If a local agreement is reached, however, that agreement must be submitted to the Minister for approval before it can come into operation. Cabinet, on the Minister’s advice, may impose terms into or remove terms from the collective agreement, thereby unilaterally changing any deal reached by the parties. Cabinet may also require the parties to go back to the bargaining table.”

(Maybe next municipal election time your vote for a School Trustee will be completely useless. Why? Well, your last vote has been usurped by a government that is in Prorogue.)

FACT:

Bill 115 is unprecedented.

•It takes away the democratic rights of teachers and education professionals to bargain collectively.

(Folks, there is a defined legal process that is set forth for the benefit of all Ontario workers union and non-union. Are the teachers the first to go? Maybe, your rights will be next?)

Maybe the government will say, “Truck drivers wages are too high. We’re going to cut them so the public has lower produce prices. We’ll call it Bill 115.” Many of you are probably too young to remember the dreaded WAGE AND PRICE controls that affectd everyone in Canada.

•It places the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the courts.

(All power is set in the hands of the Minister and her government. Democratic process and Ontario law has been bypassed. There is no organization or office to go to to register a formal complaint. The government did an end run here.)

•It takes local decision-making away from school boards and puts it in the hands of the provincial government.

(Your children are taught at the local level by frontline workers: teachers. Do you want to completely give up local control of the issues that affect your child? Who do you want making decisions for your child’s well-being Laurel Broton or the local trustee? Who knows best about local issues?)

•It singles out the education sector for wage restraint and benefit cuts over the next two (and possibly three) years. Teachers believe the repeal of Bill 115 is worth fighting for.

This issue is about democracy and decency. You mean wouldn’t fight for that?

The argument that really gets me is the one where teachers have received wage increases of 25% over 10 years. Wouldn’t that be an average of 2.5% a year?

If you look further into this here are some facts.

Government of Canada Stats

The average annual salaries for employees of the Manufacturing sector rose from $40,991 in 2001 to $49,553 in 2010, or at an average rate of 2.1% per year. There was an increase of 0.5% over the 2009-2010 period.  http://www.haygroup.com/ca/press/details.aspx?id=31313

THE HAY GROUP (Global Management Consulting firm.)

The results of the recent survey of Canadian employers forecast a national average salary increase of 2.8 percent for 2012, which is higher than the 2011 projection of 2.6 per cent, but well below the 2009 projection of 3.7 per cent, just prior to the downturn.

The average actual salary change that organizations realized in 2011 was 2.7 per cent, which supports last year’s forecast of 2.6 per cent.

So teachers will get 0% -that’s doing your part. AND THEY FULLY ACCEPTED THAT FROM THE GET-GO!

Is a 2.5% raise per year out of line for professionals, most with 5 years post-secondary education and many with additional qualification courses completed at their own expense?

In 2011 workers in Mining and Oil and Gas, Utilities, Construction, Finance and Insurance, Scientific and Technical Services, Company Management and Public Administration all had higher weekly wages than teachers. http://www.livingin-canada.com/work-salaries-wages-canada.html

Workers that have tremendous responsibility historically are compensated at a high level. That’s why we pay our doctors, nurses, fire fighters, and police a decent wage with decent benefits.  The average Ontario doctor bills $385,000 annually, nearly 10 times the $40,000 earnings of the typical Ontarian. Starting OPP Officers earn $52 000 annual with a ceiling of $85 427 while Ontario nurses start at $52 260 and many experienced nurses make more than $100 000 a year.

Check that Sunshine list my friends that is where are where you should be placing your bashing efforts. For God’s sakes, teachers are in care of your kids 6 hours a day for about 14 years of their life and you want to bash them and treat them like they’ re worthless.

Starting salaries for teachers are between $41,766 and $44,292. The maximum wage in elementary schools is $92,813 in elementary schools and $94,942 in secondary schools, depending on years of service and education level. Of course, that highest wage is for those with the highest qualifications and most experience – the few as opposed to the many. Realistically, the average teacher in Ontario makes between $42 000 and $75 000 per year.

Peter Harris from WORKOPOLIS says this: “Looking at the qualifications needed to land one of the highest paying gigs, the lesson seems to be: if you want to earn the big bucks, stay in school.”

That was another of Grumpy’s classroom rants- EDUCATION WILL OPEN DOORS FOR YOU! Teachers ARE worth what they are paid – they are highly educated professionals.

DOCTORS CARE FOR YOUR HEALTH.

POLICE AND FIRE FIGHTERS CAR FOR YOUR SAFETY

EDUCATORS TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, CARE FOR THEIR HEALTH AND SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING AND SPEND 6 HOURS A DAY, 200 DAYS A YEAR FOR 14 OR MORE YEARS WITH THAT AWESOME AND HUGE RESPONSIBILTY.

Does your child see the police officer, a fire fighter, a doctor and a lawyer 200 days a year? I sincerely hope not.

That’s why teachers are worth what they get!

Yes, I guess I failed my students because all of this bashing year after year every time teachers stand up for their own rights and the rights of their students, tells me a lot of you weren’t listening to me in your 200 days in my charge. You have closed your minds and accept what you hear and read as gospel.

If you want to rant about the issues get the facts straight. Don’t be like a politician and spew vitriol and misinformation. This issue goes way beyond the surface stuff you hear daily. It is way more complex. Really, I could write a mammoth book about the systematic problems that have brought us to this point.

And, I am not 100% pro-teacher in this. Just go to the education section of this blog site and take the time to read “DON’T PAUSE, WHY NOT REWIND AND GO FASTFORWARD.” I have my beefs!

But, the issue brought forward by the government was the $15 billion dollar deficit. How in hells name do teachers get pinned for the fault for that?

What about the ORANGE Ambulance scandal?

Do you know the cost of the cancelling of the gas plants?

Are you aware of the E-health scandal and the waste?

Do you know how much would be saved if we put together the Catholic and Public Education Systems? Maybe you now know why the Separate teachers always settle first. Could it be the threat of that very amalgamation?

Do you know how much subsidized day care for your kids (All day Kindergarten) costs? Remember the Fiberals promised you NO TAX increase. Did you forget that?

What about a Corporate TAX Rate in Ontario that is one of the lowest, if not the lowest in Canada. Maybe the deficit wouldn’t be so high if big business was paying their fair share?

Where are all you letters to the editor and FACEBOOK/TWITTER  posts on this?

There are so many more areas of waste I’d need 10 blogs to fill these lists.

Have you ever questioned the bloated administration at the board office level in school boards and the Ministry of Education? Who delivers education to your child: the teacher or the $100 000 a year consultant or Minister of Education? Who wipes their noses, dries their tears and spends each and every school day caring about them?

Yes, Grumpy is pissed.

If you want to attract the best educated, most skilled and caring people into teaching you don’t pay them poorly, strip their benefits, and constantly drag them into fights for rights and freedoms.  You don’t bash them constantly and you don’t use social media to do this. And, why would you want stressed-out angry people in the care of your kids? Teachers ARE surrogate parents – kind, nuturing and mindful of your child’s needs. You would have to be nuts to dump on them.

I know of many really good young people and potentially great teachers that are giving up on their dream of being a teacher. Why would they want to deal with this crap and have a good job stripped of its benefits, making it far less attractive as a career?  Who will enter teaching then? Perhaps, the bottom-feeders?

What you should be doing is forgetting about the “me-now” and thinking about the future. You should stand behind the teachers against the “Fiberals” because they are stripping Ontario of democratic rights in a ploy to retain power in the legislature. It’s as simple as that. And, by distracting you from other issues by CREATING a crisis in education, when there was none, they have duped you into another session of teacher bashing.

Get your facts straight.

Did you know the Ministry of Finance has just about 2/3 of the budget as education? It takes this much money (about $15 billion) to create a $15 billion dollar deficit. Now that is an oxymoron of monumental proportions.

When I heard this comment yesterday, “The problem teachers have is it seems as though a group of teachers is going on strike every year,” when, in fact, the last teacher strike in Ontario was in 1997, over 15 years ago – I went ballistic.

Sometimes I feel a bit like Abe Lincoln who said, “Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” I guess I’m trying to teach adults NOW!

LOL

SIDEBAR:

When I confront teacher bashers I usually say, “If teachers have it so good why didn’t you become one?”

The common answers is, “Well I won’t last one day bcause I’d kill the little buggers!”

And that’s why you paid me well my friends. I cared about your kids and worked my ass off for them and for you and LOVED EVERY FREAKING MINUTE OF IT.

If you want to experience what a real teacher faces invite 30  of your child’s friends over for a 6 hour birthday party and run it for 5 days straight. See if you can keep ALL OF THEM happy and engaged. If you can you might just be cut out for teaching! If not, you might be ever so more mindful of the comments you make.

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.”  If you can read this and form an opinion upon it, please thank a teacher.

There was a time when teachers were respected by respected and notable people on our planet.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” -Henry Adams

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” -Khalil Gibran

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.'” -Dan Rather

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” -Karl Menninger

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
―    Aristotle

When you study great teachers… you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style.” 
―    William Glasser

In large part, we are teachers precisely because we remember what it was like to be a student. Someone inspired us. Someone influenced us. Or someone hurt us. And we’ve channeled that joy (or pain) into our own unique philosophies on life and learning and we’re always looking for an opportunity to share them—with each other, our students, parents, or in our communities.” 
―    Tucker Elliot

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. — B.F. Skinner

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37 thoughts on “Grumpy’s Pissed and here’s WHY?

  1. Thank you for coming forward with this. I try not to listen to the news and haven’t really listened to this whole matter. However, after reading this passage I feel must more informed. I’m always with the teachers. I have always had a issue with those who make lots of cash and are never satisfied. I myself work with children in my own home as a daycare provider and understand the full importance of a teacher. I’m also a Christian and am praying the God will intervene in this and make the right decision be made. I fully believe in the power of prayer. So please know that I am praying that the teachers and students are put first. My children are upset that they might miss school due to a strike. I thank all the teachers past, present and future for ALL the work they do. Teachers are Worth IT!

  2. sorry as i read over that part about the cash I think I said the wrong this there. What I meant was the occupations who are paid high but work less, frustrate me. For 25 year I made my way through life on minimum wage but worked 14 hour days. Never paid the $$$ I deserved or received the benefits.For teachers to be stomped on like this irks me because I know they are such special instruments in our children’s lives.
    Hope that sounds better! 🙂

  3. Love the facts, but you might want to check on what you said about OECTA settling first – in fact, ETFO settled first in 1997 and were first to end other job actions in the 2000s. Plus, OECTA members did not ratify the MoU. It passed after 5 out of 9 provincial reps voted in favour. (I’m not a Catholic teacher by the way, but I have several friends who are and they are pissed off about the MoU). Thank you again for all the facts and figures – it’s good to see it all in one place.

    • Yes, I did get that a little muddled. But I remember being pretty pissed in 97 -so I think it was maybe another union that folded before Public Elementary.Glad the OECTA teachers are showing their anger as well. Stay strong and stand together. No one should blink this time around!

  4. Thanks for the frank genuine appraisal of the teacher experience here in Ontario … Our son & daughter-in-law are teachers at the secondary & elementary levels respectively & we totally understand the scope of the issues you’ve addresed so eloquently. I once confronted a police officer who was bad-mouthing ” teachers ” as having it too easy … my response was for him to try dealing with 25-30 young people daily without his badge or his gun , without the power to influence , direct or control the young minds in question except through personality , understanding , intelligence ,training & the ability to relate to both girls & boys from all walks of life or ethnic backgrounds. Needless to say , the police officer didn’t get it & neither do most of the nay-sayers youi refer to . My advice to all teachers & to their supporters, is to never give in to the shallow-minded non-thinking utterances from those who are in denial of the vital role played by ” our irrepressible inate human intelligence & it’s search for knowledge through the education process” !

  5. Thank you Jim! As a fellow teacher, you don’t know how badly I needed to hear this… Much appreciated!

  6. I would love to see the research on Manufacturing wages rising as significantly as they have in the last 10 years. I know many manufacturing folks whose wages have been static for 15 years and many many more who are not able to find a job in Manufacturing.
    Living in Hamilton where not that many years ago we had 25000 steeelworkers now 5000, 3000 appliance makers now zero, 2000 farm equipment makers now zero and many other manufacturers like Westinghouse, Firestone, etc. long gone. The largest employers are now the hospitals and McMaster which are both suported by the public purse.
    Cuts need to be made but could more easily come from eliminating ministry and staff positions at the boards and rolling back all day kindegarten.
    The greatest hypocrisy is MPPs not eliminating their retirement gratuity before even considering touching someone esle’s.

  7. I’ll have to agree with you there. London Ontario suffers from the same disease.I think your point is well taken that there are a whole range of cost reductions that should be explored. The problem is that this government’s “Create A Crisis Mode” (Smokescreen) has put the publics anger and angst all in one basket. Thanks for reading and thanks for adding your views. Grumpy

  8. Thanks for rounding up so many facts and making such a well-reasoned and impassioned case! It does give me a boost and I will link it on my fb page if I may.

  9. I feel for the teachers, I do. I want my children to have the best education they can receive so they may go on to become a positive addition to society one day. I do have a hard time understanding your comparison to police, firefighters and emergency room physicians, as they are not permitted to strike as they are deemed a necessary part of society and havoc would ensue without them. Would this not be the same for teachers in your argument? You are, in my mind and I’m sure in the minds of millions of other parents, completely necessary to our society, hence, you should not be able to strike. There is so much confusion and double talk from the government, and I do realize that it is not about a wage freeze, but it can’t be about the ability to strike, our children need you there for their futures. Not just in the classroom either, but in all those extras you do provide, hopefully because YOU LOVED EVERY FREAKING MINUTE OF IT!!
    Perhaps, if we look through history, some items that were written into contract (or law) more than 40 years ago need to be revisited and changed? We laugh at outdated laws all the time, perhaps, items need to be revisited and reassessed at this time.
    I’m not on the side of government, but neither am I on the side of teachers in this. I do believe that all of you need to consider the faces, personalities, dreams and ideals of all of the children in the classroom, on the field, in the gym, and on the student council in all of our schools. You (and by you, I mean the government and the teachers unions) may be stagnant in what you are trying to decide, but you are making them stagnant, and leaning toward failure in their futures as the next amazing teachers, or better leaders of our country. Obviously, very few of you (again, government and teachers unions) have a child who is actually set to graduate this year, or next, and none of you are looking at the harm you are inflicting on these young adults. You are forcing the issue upon them whether you believe you are or not. It IS the student that is suffering the most.

  10. I feel your angst and totally understand where you are coming from. I do have a child who is doing his victory lap in high school and who is a possible scholarship athlete. My view is that extracurriculars should not be touched -no way, no how. You’ll see that in my next blog, which I will post in a few days.

    The problem as I see it is all about perception amd misinformation. The government chooses to bargain publicly and not privatly – at the table. They also choose to legistlate and not to negotiate.They choose to create a crisis in education when there was none. They put politics ahead of children.

    It is unfortunate that kids are in the middle caught between the battle of two adult groups. But that is the nature of the game as students are the clients, the products if you will, of the education system.

    History demonstrates that tyranny not challenged breeds apathy if not fear. If a government can act once in an undemocratic way, it can act again and again,affecting all of us.

    I really appreciate your remarks I will reflect on them deeply.

    Thank you for reading my little rant and and I especially appreciate that you took the time to respond. After all, dialogue is how we solve problems, how we understand each other and how we grow as human beings. It is too bad that this government does not hold this truism as policy when dealing with their employees.

    All the Best,

    Grumpy

  11. Jim, as a fellow teacher I conquer with the vast majority of what is said. One thing should be made clear to your readers though in the comparisons with fire, police and doctors regarding strike action. It isn’t the chaos that would ensue that made them “essential” but the literal LIFE or DEATH nature of what they do. Since that in no way applies to teachers, comparisons to these groups being legislated not to strike is a red herring and completely off base. in your upcoming rant regarding extracurricular perhaps you could indicate what would be effective in bringing a prorogued gov’t to the table as other than a dictator. Since bill 115 effectively removes the right to strike (you can be mandated back to work on the whim of the gov’t minister so effectively the right is not there), is there a powerful enough tool to get this obdurate and recalcitrant government, which you ask “why would you remain at the table to NEGOTIATE when there was a hardline no-negotiation stance?”, to the table to negotiate? I don’t see it personally but perhaps you do. It’s a sad thing when the gov’t limits our options so severely that something like this is one of the few effective tools left to bring the realization that tyranny is not acceptable.

    • Very well stated, my friend.

      My point regarding extra-curricular activity is simply that stopping same does harm students. and upsets the public.. Losing public support will do nothing to help the cause. Teachers cannot be connected with acts that directly effect/harm kids especially when we call it a volunteer act.

      I think the greatest power within the Federation is collective intelligence. Where else in the workforce do you have so many highly educated people working together. Surely strategies need to be rejigged, given that we are using techniques born of the 60’s and 70’s. These may no longer be effective because not only have the rules of the game changed but the economics in these times are entirely different.

      You’ve provided me with several ideas/concepts I hadn’t considered, and thanks for that. Only through dialougue do we advance our views. I’m sorry that the present government does not see the value in that.

      Stay Strong,
      Grumpy

  12. Pingback: Work to Rule – Sports, Clubs and Kids – IT SAYS HERE NO WAY, NO HOW! | GRUMPY'S WACKY WORLD : Life as viewed through smudged and grimy bifocals.

  13. Why democracy will fail: most people can’t be bothered to get informed or would rather just angrily push their tribal beliefs. Unfortunately that includes teachers in my own board.

    Canada: welcome to the great white apathy. The few who care to get informed will never overcome the avalanche of ignorance and spite.

    Thanks for writing this though, it’s always nice to hear a voice in the wilderness.

    • I totally agree. We have ecome a nation of complainers that never step up to the plate and formally protest – let alone vote with conviction. It is what it is – most are complacent ill-informed dolts. Look at the misinformation that drives teacher bashing.

      Democracy requires more effort if we are not to be gobbled up by governments that rule by legistlation and edict.

      This is a slippery slope.

      Thanks for reading and adding your insightful comments. That’s why Grumpy writes this stuff.

  14. “Teachers cannot be connected with acts that directly effect/harm kids especially when we call it a volunteer act.”
    Funny how the extra-currulars being stopped is thought of as “voluntary”…but these same extra-curriculars are EXPECTED by the public. FYI – teachers give an extra 8 hours per week towards running these events/teams/clubs/tutoring/re-testing etc. for FREE, no overtime, no time and a half.
    Why should teachers give away time with THEIR family to spend time with YOURS (the public) if the PUBLIC doesn’t support them? No one is stopping the public from volunteering their time!

    • Don’t get me wrong here, as I am 100% behind teachers. I was one for nearly 30 years and I coached/volunteered for each and every one of them, including 10 years as a REP OBA basketball coach, out of school hours.My days were long and included weekends tournaments..

      Despite this, I still believe actions that affect kids are unwarranted and counterproductive. Why give the teacher bashers ammunition? Why have those idiot parents that feel entitled complaining publicly? The damage done here, even though it is totally unjustified, empowers the governments agenda and sets back any good will garnered over th past 10 yearr.

      I feel your angst and I identify with your frustration/ anger. However, shooting yourself in the foot is never a good thing! I think union leaders are doing that now. (ie still fighting the fight like this is the 1970’s)

      Thanks for reading and expressing your views. That is why I write here. Dialogue moves us forward. Too bad the Liberal and Conservatives don’t follow the same plan.

      Good Luck,
      Grumpy

  15. Thanks for this post. I am wholly on the side of the teachers. Bill 115 has to go! I do take exception to one statement, however: “The average Ontario doctor bills $385,000 annually, nearly 10 times the $40,000 earnings of the typical Ontarian.” While this may indeed be factual, the word “bills” can be misleading to some readers. One must compare apples to apples, Grumpy! . We can’t ignore the fact that a doctor has huge expenses to cover out of that $385,000; secretaries, nurses, book keepers, office rent, utilities, malpractice insurance, etc. Typically these expenses run on average between 40 – 50 percentage of the billing. At 40 percent, that’s $154 000 in operating expenses and $231,000 gross salary by my calculations. Needless to say, a lot of that salary is clawed back in income tax, but then, everyone is plagued by that curse! Good luck to the teachers and their fight against Bill 115, because really, this bill effects us all.

  16. Thank you so much for this post. It is very hard to be in this situation and to be constantly flogged by people who think they know what teachers do because, hey, they went to school! I wish they could be forced to read your blog, but we both know if they read it they wouldn’t believe it because they KNOW the truth already.
    Elly

  17. Thank you for this “grumpy”, albeit, insightful rant…and thank you for teaching us more about the situation. Sometimes we are teachers and sometimes we are students…and it is the wise ones who never close their minds to either, no matter how old we get. I am 100% in support of the teachers and I am, and will continue to be grateful for their patience with their students…and the parents of students. You have my respect.

  18. I’m upset that oil workers in northern Alberta make more than I do. Then again, like teachers, they work hard for their money. Would I want to work in minus 20 to minus 30 degree weather in the winter time? No. Then again, if I am given a heavy equipment truck with heating inside, I should be able to drive it as I do have a regular driver’s licence. Really, it’s just baby-sitting a big baby, heavy truck.

    • Just flew back from Alberta with a planeload of workers from Fort Mac. My son works in the oil business in Alberta, as well. Lawyers wages for labourers!

      But those guys had to get off their butts and sacrifice family and live in isolation, too.

      Bottom line, life IS all about choices and lit does reflect the level of education you attain. Those that complain about teachers are usually sour on their lot in life and have no idea about the many hoops and barriers that have to be overcome to get a classroom gig. .

      Too many people don’t have the gumption to sacrifice, move or reach for higher goals and a better lifestyle. Many are content to languish in their complacent lives,complaining about anything and everything.

      Teachers have just a little less education than doctors and lawyers but have the same level of responsibility inherent in their noble task; that of caring for and educating our children. It takes a lot of schooling, a mountain of debt to become one, then you suffer the scrutiny of every Tom, Dick and, Harry for an entire carreer.

      Yes, I think we should be up in arms over those Oil Sand workers. How dare they be making that kind of money on such little ediucation. Cut their wages in half and I couljd better afford to heat my house and drive my car and they get like 10 days off in a row and free flights home.

      Break up their unions, I say. What gives?

      All the Best,
      Grumpy

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