Teachers have been shafted. Over the past ten years teacher salaries have been cut, cut, and cut again. Benefits have been shot. Pensions halved. New teachers are pushed from career-creating positions that build their skills and bring them the solid base that makes them better teachers to, sadly, year-long contracts that do not give them benefits nor protect them.
New teachers are doomed from the start, retiring teachers are forced to stay as substitute contractual teachers, and we’re harming students by losing those bright, willing people who chose a life of public service over other careers
Now Stelmach aims to have them accept a voluntary pay freeze. He’s going to be “very firm”. I’m pretty sure this means that the voluntary cut are not that voluntary.
Obviously, teachers are already mad. This is just one more spit in the face.
Although Stelmach argues it will save jobs, there’s still a problem. Klein promised that in the mid-1990s. For a five-percent cut there were, supposedly, not to be any job cuts. There were cuts anyways.
Just like Getty, and others, Stelmach and Klein have squandered the boom. Our heritage fund has been raided over and over, in a perfect juxtaposition to Norway’s fund that stores away 95% of all revenue from royalties. The conservatives haven’t done that.
Between 1989 and 1993 we gave more to businesses in the oil patch than we took in with royalties. Kevin Taft’s book, Shreading the Public Interest, deals with this. Although I haven’t look at the data in the last few years, I’m almost positive that Stelmach and Klein have been doing this too.
The royalties fiasco has also been a complete mess. It has been revisited almost ten times since last October. At the beginning of 2008 Stelmach predicted a surplus of several billion–we are now in a deficit of several billion. This is mismanagement of the highest order.
As a child of two teachers, and who is now in university, I find the situation being handed to me–the next generation–atrocious. Purely, and completely atrocious.
As the grandson of a rancher and reporter, who wrote about the environmental impact of the tar sands almost a century ago, it drives me nuts that we haven’t solved the environmental questions of today. Three generations have come and gone now, yet we do not have an answer.
This is driving me nuts. Someone tell me I’m not the only one.
Ed’s leadership review is next month. Calgayherald.com states that between “Oct. 2 and 7 (a) Calgary consulting firm Return on Insight, revealed 30 per cent of all respondents said they’d back the Tories if an election was held today, compared with 54 per cent shortly after Stelmach won the PC leadership.” It looks rather bad for him, doesn’t it?
Especially considering the rather dry and somber presentation he made tonight with regards to the state-of-the-province address. (His “The Way Forward” presentation is linked to at the bottom of this post.)
At first you’d have to say, well, yeah–that’s a terrible position for the Tories. However, there’s something you have to consider before running off to say that the Tories are about to be ousted or that Ed is about to lose his leadership position. During the last election in the province the Calgary Herald was going on about how low the Tories were in polling. They then stampeded the competition and landed 72 seats. People did not expect Stelmach to take the leadership campaign but that, too, was won by his team’s smarts with regards to rousing all the other groups to his banner on the final vote.
Be careful, people. While Eddy is steadfastly steady he is definitely ready. From what I’ve read about him, and judging from his upset in the leadership race, he is a very smart person and very prepared. Take the furor by the Wild Rose Alliance or the reaction of Swann’s AL with a heavy spoonful of salt. Just because he doesn’t have Kleins flare doesn’t mean he doesn’t fulfil dares.
The Way Forward:
So the Harper government is taxing me, and my family, more now. Along with the working people of Canada.
Issue being, however, is that they’re not calling it a tax. Simply enough, the Conservatives are increasing payroll taxes without mentioning it to anyone. A media release on liberal.ca deals with this:
Stephen Harper has introduced a secret $15-billion payroll tax on employees and employers.
By one estimate, Canadians will see their EI premiums rise by $1264 for the average two income family and $8884 for a small business with 10 employees.
The title of this post is from Dale Orr’s article in Canadian Press from about two days ago. The Canadian Press details this further.