I'm being held hostage by an authoritarian government. These fascists (they certainly don't believe in democracy) have demanded that I surrender my rights and work under their terms. In this impossible environment the people who speak for me have begun a legal battle on this government's attack on my fundamental Charter freedoms. The process of overturning that legislation will take time, but it will eventually be overturned and will result in the end of this nasty, self-serving government and their illegal legislation.
My rep has also tried to bargain a deal to protect me in the meantime. The bargain was made with a Bill 115 Magnum aimed at our heads, so a fair deal wasn't exactly the result of the process.
There was no negotiation, it was more like begging for our lives. This government was happy to turn the public against us in order to further their agenda.
If you're held hostage you look for the basics, you don't start asking for more than you had. It's a moment of desperation.
If we don't take the deal our rep has scraped together for us, this authoritarian regime will put us in an even worse situation because it has legislated our rights away. In either case we will no longer have anything like we had. We either lose a lot and keep a bit because our rep got some concessions out of the regime, or we end up in their even worse MoU prison, either way, we lose.
When someone has a gun to your head, do you start moralizing with them?
So do we vote for a contract that strips us of years of concessions because this government would rather flush money down poorly managed ehealth experiments, semi-privatized air ambulances, quarrelsomeness wind power and on again/off again power plants, or do we go to the wall and burn it all down because this is just wrong?
If we don't vote for this, something even worse is imposed on us anyway. This is divisive no matter how you play it. Junior teachers lose their grid increases, senior teachers (who are the majority) don't lose their retirement sick-day payouts. Some boards may OK this, others may not. This isn't going to create labour peace, it's going to create an uneven mess across the province.
In the meantime that fight to overturn the regime continues. In a year and a half, we could very well be standing over the ruins of Bill115 (and the Ontario Liberal dream of being the government) and be able to bargain a fair deal under Canadian law; we can't do that right now. Whether we vote for this or not, our agreements will be in tatters because the Ontario Liberals and their Tea-party-Hudak lapdogs have pushed through this ridiculous, undemocratic legislation.
Do you go along with what you know is wrong hoping to protect you and your family as best you can or do you say, "NO, this is wrong, I will not be a party to it"? This isn't an easy decision.
The lack of clarity, both moral and professional in this makes this a very uncertain, difficult decision to make. Unfortunately I'm a bloody minded kind of fellow; I fear I'll vote for what's right, whatever the cost, politics be damned.
PRIVATE TEACHER, PUBLIC JOB