Public sector workers should not be scapegoats for governments' bad economic policy or neglect to hold white collar criminals accountable.
Teachers — just like nurses, firefighters, and all public sector workers (yes, even the people who renew your driver's licence) — did not cause the credit crisis that led to the global recession beginning in 2008.
That was the fault of greedy financiers who came up with get-rich-quick schemes to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford them while they made unbelievable profits. Sadly, Canadian banks were on the hook for this too.
Teachers and public sector workers didn't cause the Ontario government's current deficit either.
The Ontario deficit is the result of two things: 1. the lack of sufficient economic growth, largely due to the worldwide financial crisis (see above); and, 2. our government's insistence on cutting corporate taxes — even now when we cannot afford to do so — despite the fact that corporate taxes were already, and still reamin, very low and corporate tax cuts are the least effective way to create jobs, stimulate growth, or spur economic recovery.
So what does this have to do with teachers? That's a good question.
How Premier Dalton McGuinty, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, and Education Minister Laurel Broten get from "we have a deficit that's bigger than we should" to "teachers and all public sector workers must pay for it because they have to share the pain with workers in the private sector who also didn't cause the problem" is a mystery.
The deficit has been caused by the McGuinty government's own ineffective and unaffordable policy of perpetual corporate tax cuts, and by bankers who aren't happy with their $125,000 bonuses (yeah, you read that correctly, annual bonuses that big on top of their salaries).
Send your own message right now to tell your Premier, Finance Minister, and Education Minister to stop attacking teachers and all public sector workers.
It's time for our elected representatives to make the rich and white collar criminals pay for the mess they created instead of freezing the wages of the workers who we need to keep spending money if we want to avoid another recession here in Ontario.