JUSTICE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES
Recently, we have been hearing much about the ‘right to work’ activities which is little more than a ‘race to the bottom’ in salaries which, one presumes, is acceptable if all other costs go down. But they are not, particularly executive pay and bonuses. The ‘trickle down’ theory to justify these excessive awards is so much balderdash.
In the U.S., Michigan Republican Governor Rick Perry has added one more state to the collection much to the chagrin of President Obama.
In Canada, M.P. ‘Unctuous Pierre’ is touting the cause for the Federal Tories while Opposition Tory leader Tim Hudak is champing at the bit to de-unionize Ontario.
Against them are the dinosaur Union leaders entrenched mainly in government white collar Unions in Canada. They have two strikes against them. The first is the historical failure of the Unions to unionize the fast food outlets and financial institutions. Both these institutions are bending over backwards with their employees to avoid unionization. Remove the Unions altogether and what do you believe will happen to employees of those two groups? The second strike against the Union Leaders is the behind the scene ‘sweetheart agreements’; the Employee’s Case being the prime matter bringing into question Union leader credibility as well as questioning the value of u nion membership.
What I propose is that Canadians at large promote such as the increase of the minimum wage so that all Canadians may share in our prosperity. While space limits my argument here, such employees can expect to spend more and contribute to a ‘trickle up’ theory. Recently, while visiting Australia, I paid twice the Canadian cost for a MacDonald’s meal as I was led to believe that the benefit was accruing to the workers.
As a first ‘cause celebré’, I propose wide spread support for the www.employeescasecanada.com as a means of showing the management-dominated governments and courts that employees must be listened to. So far, only our native peoples appear to have a national image on protesting. Forwarding your Photo Placards to me as outlined on the Home Page as a first step for Canadian professional teachers in leading this challenge. Placing all B.C. School Districts ‘into dispute’ is another essential dimension in this battle.
Below is a summary of the Employee’s Case as it affects teacher welfare in Canada.
1) Teacher seniority is all important with regards to pay scale. After about 10 years, senior teachers receive twice the salary of beginners.
2) Hence School Boards, forever working under financial constraints, would prefer a system whereby they can replace a senior teacher with two junior teachers for the same cost providing large unemployed teaching graduates exist which is now the case.
3) The reason for this disparity between beginner andf senior teacher was established over 60 years ago when teachers, due to poor pay, were leaving the profession. In order to retain teachers, beginning salaries were kept deliberately low with the senior teachers being topped up with the difference as a means of retaining teachers in the profession. It worked.
4) Until the 1970’s in British Columbia, School Boards were paid by the government according to the experience and qualifications of their teachers. When the government ‘averaged’ the payment, Districts like West Vancouver with many senior teachers with M.A.’s were forced to hire only graduating students. Senior teachers were frozen in their School Districts (Indeed, Ottawa- Carlton where I served as a 20 year Supply Teacher in both Catholic and Public Boards did not hire senior teachers from outside their School District.) Hence a senior teacher who moves out of his or her School District (and I met many in Ottawa) is virtually unemployable.
5) The Employee’s Case (Canada) marks the first time (to the best of my knowledge as researched for legal purposes) a senior teacher has been laid off for reasons of declining enrolment. While not ideal, the general feature of ‘last on, first off’ is fraught with fewer problems when it comes to lay-off. Other areas of employment have experienced problems with recognizing seniority. For example, a wild-life biologist was told of the advantages of having a body independent of government. On a June day in 1992, he arrived at work in Ottawa with security personnel at the door where a table with a list was posted Your name was crossed off and you were either directed left or right.. ‘Just like Auschwitz’, he commented. His room on the right provided the workers with pink slips while the others in the left room were confirmed in their duties. ‘What about seniority’, he asked the Union leader who dismissed the question. He had performed many of the tasks by junior employees retained by the company. Some employees sought lawyers and were provided a further two years salary on the ‘quiet’.
6) Am I frightening you? I sincerely hope so for with no professional teacher support across Canada for ‘The Outlawed Canadian’, the Ontario government have sought to take a leaf out of the B.C. Government’s BILL 35 in 1985 (used only against this personage until it was repealed before this case was resolved) with its own brand of employee bashing which is a logical successor to BILL 35. (P.S. I was ‘purportedly’ laid off on June 26, 1985 under BILL 35 which became law on July 1, 1985.) In fact, I submit the request for the lay-off originated within the ranks of the local Union bent on protecting an administrator that I had accused of fraud. Administrators were part of the Union in 1985 (separated in 1988) providing up to 20% of funds and were restless with the Union connection.
7) The real significance of BILL 35 is that it was, paradoxically speaking, meant to be ultra vires as a means of persuading School Districts to sign their own agreements with teachers regarding lay-off. Hence the government ‘imposed’ agreement would become a ‘consentual’ agreement which could not be appealed to the courts. All B.C. School Districts signed away that all important court access (to the ignorance of the teachers) at the behest of the Union leaders hence yours truly is the only B.C. Teacher with court access; something I am not bragging about although without that court access, I would never have had such as Justice Southin in 1986 quashing the arbitration, ruling, as she did, the arbitrator to be ‘patently unreasonable’. She ordered a new arbitration when the School District did not return employment as she recommended. As the Union was given sole authority in this sweetheart deal to represent me legally, nothing transpired so that I am without compensation 28 years later (includes pension rights).
8) The Union in the past two decades has aligned itself with the Employer to resolve this case drawing into question the value of holding Union membership in Canada (Two Supreme Court of Canada approaches on this question). In brief, an Employer may threaten a laid-off employee with this line: ‘If you do not accept a $1 settlement, then you will not collect your pension. That proposition reduced Canada to Third World status.
9) In 2010, the ‘MacKenzie Creed’ has reduced Canada to that of ‘a failed state’ and is the subject of current machinations in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCofC 3rd appeal ‘MacKenzie Creed’; SCofC ‘Strike 4-baseball anyone?; SCofC ‘Stage 5-Cancer’; SCof C ‘Stage 6-Beyond All Reasonable Doubt’ – this is the current stage – and pending; SCofC ‘Stage 7-Beyond All Reason’. This latter appeal of #12-54944 Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa, Maranger Decision of November 01-2012 is to be heard in the New Year barring accidents…and there have been plenty of those. In short, over 30 ‘venal’ judges have thrown in their lot with the conspirators.
10) The MacKenzie Creed outlined elsewhere refers to Deputy Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie (B.C. Supreme Court) who, on her own recognizance, without taking legal argument or quoting pertinent laws, banned this litigant from the courts and ordered the ‘praetorian guard’ to block any submission from me (which happened). ‘Buy your judge here’ should read the caption. Think what organized crime or a powerful interest can do with this stunt. To be sure, the McGuinty government did not pass BILL 115 without first fielding it behind the scenes with Ontario’s judiciary. In short, The Justice System is NOT the friend of labour as attested to by the failure of a B.C. Teacher wildcat strike in 2005. The Ontario government doesn’t need my help and I would not give it in any event, but it I were promoting BILL 115, Ontario’s teachers wouldn’t stand a chance.
11) Hence Canadian teachers must offset a possible Ontario teacher failure which will negatively affect all Canadian teachers. What better way than to lend their support to the www.employeescasecanada.com . Fax in those protest photos as outlined on the Home Page. Also, every effort must be made to have B.C. Teachers place all School Districts into dispute until the Employee’s Case is resolved. As goes the Employee’s Case Canada, so goes our entire democracy. Don’t waste time asking others to act or approv e your actions. Act now as I see a day coming for teachers where Canada’s employees will be asking ‘What did you do in the Great War, daddy?’