Canada: On the front lines: Teachers, unions, and social progress
Published on Thu, 2013-12-12 05:53
The roles and responsibilities of unions in Canada have come under renewed scrutiny. According to CCPA, Social Watch member in Canada, provincial and federal government hostility towards organized resistance to current policies is intensifying through heated rhetoric and legislative trial balloons.
Much of this is facilitated by the current economic insecurity which reinforces individualistic attitudes and often results in resentment directed at those who have it less bad; a general lack of awareness of how much, exactly, society owes to the victories that labour unions have won for all workers and their families—not to mention a lack of understanding of the rules by which unions operate; and those in positions of power growing evermore eager to use the tools at their disposal (corporate or legislative) to challenge the rights of unions to freely engage in the collective bargaining process to improve the lot of the workers they represent.
The Fall 2013 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves looks at the role unions—specifically teacher unions—have played and continue to play in fighting for social progress and the protection and expansion of basic rights that are now often taken for granted. It also examines how classrooms and school communities are implicated in these struggles to make the world fairer, more equitable and more just.