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Not Always Right to Strike

(full version of an article that appeared in the Toronto Sun, 4 February 2009)
I do appreciate that employees have the right to be treated fairly when in contract negotiations. Now that we finally have a resolution to the York University strike, we are now faced with the possibility of the elementary teachers federation may strike. We don’t need, I REPEAT, we don’t need another education strike.

I think teachers in all public educational institutions should be deemed essential services and prohibited from striking. The fact is that when teachers go on strike, it affects people’s lives. You would never see McDonald’s workers going on strike because I could always go to Burger King or Wendy’s.

I don’t understand why teachers (or anybody for that matter) are so reluctant to give up the right to strike, as the binding-arbitration process would replace it. Arbitration is a very powerful negotiating tool, especially since it is the employees who usually come out the winners. That and you remain at full pay during contract negotiations (as opposed to strike pay) and get back-pay when the contract is finally ratified.

I hope Premier McGinty is finally listening, but I’m not holding my breath.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: http://militarybruce.com/not-always-right-to-strike/

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