Sign your name if you are an education worker or supporter and have cancelled your subscription to The Toronto Star in response to The Star's consistent distortions during the current labour impasse and the Government's imposition of Bill 115. Of course, when you made the call, you told them it was just a "pause".
The Toronto Star is supposed to adhere to Atkinson Principles, which include respect for the rights of working people and support for individual and civil liberties, and yet The Star continues to:
1) misrepresent Bill 115 as a wage-freeze bill
2) falsely suggest that teachers are outraged over the prospects of a wage-freeze pause instead of unilateral strips to contracts and the breach of fair collective bargaining, especially after unions offered a freeze.
3) generally ignore the fact that support workers are also caught under Bill 115
4) use selective statistics to support misleading arguments: on Twitter and in columns, Star columnists consistently parrot a wage increase of approximately 25% for teachers since 2004 vs 16% inflation, while conveniently ignoring both the private sector increase of 21% over the same time, and the fact that education workers suffered through 10 years of wage freeze prior to 2003.
5) refer to the OECTA deal as creative, or innovative, while refusing to acknowledge the much different starting points of contract terms between OECTA, OSSTF and ETFO, and the different composition of the union membership.
6) distort job action intents - a recent article's first paragraph created the impression that teachers would no longer talk to parents, and it was only clarified much later in the same article that communication would remain intact during the workday.
We will consider renewing our subscriptions when The Toronto Star ceases propagating misleading statistics, half-truths, and Liberal spin during the impasse. Though we are not asking for unequivocal support, we hope that The Star considers taking an editorial position that does justice to the unprecedented attack on the principles of collective bargaining, one of the foundations of the free and democratic society the Atkinson Principles purport to uphold.
- #1) Ferguson, Nov 3/12, Brown, Oct 11/12; Brown & Oglivie, Sep 11/12, Ferguson & Benzie, Sep 11/12 "...new law freezing wages and banning strikes";
- #2) Benzie, Oct 31/12; Brown & Oglivie, Sep 11/12; Cohn, Jul 7/12, Aug 25/12, Aug 29/12
- #3) like many other MSM papers, Star articles generally suggest that Bill 115 is a battle between teachers and government.
- #4) Benzie, tweet, Oct 27/12; Benzie, Oct 31/12, Cohn floats 25% since '03 on August 29/12, Sept 19/12, then moves to 28% on Oct 6/12, though he sometimes includes private sector; Dimanno, Oct 21/12 rolls out 34% over 8 years.
- #5) Cohn, Jul 7/12, Aug 25/12
- #6) Consiglio, Oct 26/12; Brown, Oct 17/12 "Do bare minimum on report cards, Ontario elementary teachers urged".
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