In an unprecedented move the Ministry of Education recently made a presentation at the bargaining table which reveals government’s objectives in its 21st Century Personalized Learning agenda. The presentation titled Collective Bargaining to Sustain a Strong Public Education Systemreveals the government’s determination to weaken teachers’ collective agreements.
Carefully crafted Orwellian language clearly identifies teachers and the collective agreement as an impediment to 21st century personalized learning. In order to realize their vision the government wants to remove contract provisions and rights regarding:
- professional autonomy and teachers control of professional development
- job security, seniority
- due process in evaluation, discipline, and dismissal.
Even under the heading “Supporting Teachers and the Profession” there is not a single word about improving classroom conditions or providing more resources and funding. Instead it’s all about directing and evaluating teachers, tying professional development to government policy, and a free hand for management to decide who gets hired, who stays, and who goes.
Here’s what the government is saying about:
Hiring and placement
“We want the right teachers placed in the right positions. Qualified and suitable teachers—in best ‘fit’ placements.” “We want to ensure that school districts are able to make human resource decisions that are effective and efficient.”
“An effective evaluations process should help good teachers identify how to become great, and underperforming teachers how to become good.” “It should also identify those unsuited to the profession.”
“We want to align professional development with teacher performance evaluations and school district policy requirements.”
Throughout the presentation the government attempts to make the case that, our system is underperforming and the blame lies with underperforming teachers.
Reminder: the strike vote is being held June 24–28, 2011. Consult your local for date, times, and place.
Please ensure you are signed on to the “Members Only” portal on www.bctf.ca to access bargaining information.