9781550591927 / 1550591924

Teachers' Unions in Canada


Publisher:Brush Education, 1999



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About the book:

Teachers' Unions in Canada provides a penetrating look into the history, politics and finances of the most influential organizations in Canadian elementary and secondary education. Begun during the 19th century as benevolent associations that provided for teachers' welfare in difficult times, teachers' federations have emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century as outspoken critics of government reforms meant to control the cost and to improve the quality of education. Operating under extremely favorable labor laws  by far the most generous among the world's Anglo-democracies  Canadian teachers' unions advocate a social and political agenda that would expand the role of government in all aspects of our lives and create more teaching jobs in the process. They act to bring government to power  and act to get them out. Opponents of both neo-liberal and neo-conservative initiatives to revitalize Canada's economy, teachers' unions still embrace a social-democratic economic model that all political parties have rejected. Although teachers' unions faced setbacks in the 1990s, they have been largely successful in protecting their members from the financial hardships experienced by most private sector employees. Their pension plans, which are generous and well-funded, serve as major sources of capital for the economy and exert direct and indirect influence over the lives of all Canadians. To create a better balance among all actors in the educational arena, action by governments is needed to modify labor laws in order to increase teacher unions' responsiveness to their members and to improve their accountability to the general public.

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