You Wouldn’t Work Extra Hours for No Pay, Why Should Teachers?

By | Published March 19, 2013 by The Huffington Post


In the rants written about extra-curriculars, I haven’t read any acknowledgements of what running clubs, supervising events, and coaching sports actually entails. There’s an overemphasis on what families are losing. Teachers also have families, and when the family income is decimated in the short- and long-term by a new law, the desire to escort a basketball team on a bus in the winter or spend an entire Saturday judging a debating tournament, and to do all the associated paperwork, goes down.

Another thing that’s missing from the discussion of extra-curricular activities is an acknowledgement of teachers’ rights to set, in the only place possible, what they deem to be reasonable limits. Never mind volunteering for a moment. Are you willing to do the same amount of work for 10 per cent less pay? If so, are you willing to do it for 15 per cent less? How about 20 per cent less, 25 per cent less, 35, 50? When would your dignity and self-respect kick in and make you say “just hang on a minute. I’m a trained professional, and I don’t work for free.”

Bill 115 has already required teachers to do at least the same amount of work for significantly less and denied our democratic right to collectively bargain, so many of us feel that the only way we have left to show our displeasure is to withhold the work that we normally do for free. This is not an easy choice for most teachers. Teachers sympathize with students over the loss of teams and clubs, and students know it.

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