JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ONTARIO TEACHERS’ UNION TAKES THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO COURT WITH THE IDEA THAT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED – A HUMBUG CLAIM   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I can’t see this claim at all.

Constitutional rights are fundamental and apply to all and in all circumstances, no matter what the situation.

Being able to form a union and bargain is not of quite the same nature.

It is a right in law, but not in Constitutional law which takes precedence over other laws.

The teachers’ union is making a bigger fool of itself in this than it already is.

From those to whom so very much has been given, comparatively little is being asked now.

To try making that a Constitutional issue the same as free speech or freedom of religion demonstrates a complete lack of reality and invites scorn from the public.

The fact is teachers are free to have their union still (free association), but the government, owing to financial exigencies, could not accommodate their demands.

This is not tyranny in any possible sense of the word, but represents only the realities of governing at times.

When I hear representatives of the union say babyish things like the financial mess is the government’s own problem, I want to puke. The government is us, not some third party out there in space. That fact too is an essential part of democratic values.

The teachers’ union of course is a form of monopoly, a monopoly in the supply of labor to a large and important institution in society, and we all know monopolies do not think like competitive firms.

Monopolies in the economic realm themselves share some of the very characteristics of tyrannies in the political realm.

In all of this, the public would do well to remember that the union basically refused to come to the table when the government asked them.

And why was that?

It was a cheap trick to buy time so that the automatic salary increases could go into effect before the government could act. Hardly heroic or brave or having to do with any right.

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