CANROC Statement on Education Workers’ Struggle in Ontario

Fellow Education Workers,

The Industrial Workers of the World Canadian Regional Organizing Committee urges Ontario rank-and-file teachers union members to keep struggling for justice and respect on the job.

The rank-and-file of Ontario’s teachers’ unions have borne the brunt of this struggle with Ontario’s Liberal government for a fair and equitable contract, negotiated freely and under conditions of respect and solidarity.

The government’s decision to repeal Bill 115 is meaningless, particularly as it intends to enforce the two-year agreement it forced on teachers. Taking the knife out does not heal the wound.

The Industrial Workers of the World in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada urge the rank-and-file to keep up the fight on the job and within your own union. We see rank-and-file members adopting a more effective approach by continuing to network at the grassroots level and keep mobilized in the workplace. Instructors should continue to take action as necessary to make the imposition of this contract a mistake the government will not forget.

There is also organizing work to do within the teachers’ unions. The news that the Toronto District 12 of the OSSTF donated $30,000 to Liberal leadership candidates in December 2012 demonstrates a serious breach of faith with its members. Attempting to use union funds to curry favour with the very members of the Liberal cabinet who voted in favour of Bill 115 is an ineffective way of fighting this government and its allies.

Similarly, the decision to stop the work-to-rule tactic on extra-curricular activities on the hint of a promise from the new premier puts the interests of the Ontario Liberal Party over the interests of the union’s membership. We urge union members to hold their officers accountable for these blunders.

Our members and working class Ontarians support the teachers and educators in our schools. We know what it is like to face austerity and demonization by this province’s government and its allies. Solidarity and political independence is the hard road to victory and we will see you on it, Fellow Workers.