Disenchanted Teachers Back to School

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School's still out for summer in most of Canada. But in Ontario, teachers are trying to give the provincial government a lesson. Thousands gathered yesterday in front of the legislature to protest against a bill that would freeze their wages, cut their benefits, and ban strikes. The Ontario government says its simply arithmetic---it needs to reduce the province's deficit. And teachers have to help out. B.C. teachers are heading back to school under similar legislation, passed by their provincial government. Today, we're talking to teachers about their classrooms, careers and collective bargaining.


Today's guest host was Piya Chattopadhyay.

Part One of The Current

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This is The Current.

Disenchanted Teachers Back to School - Ontario Minister of Education

Students and teachers across Canada are starting their returns to classroom. And for some teachers -- particularly those in British Columbia and Ontario - it's an occasion for those famous dirty looks.

Earlier this week, the Ontario government introduced legislation to impose new contracts on tens of thousands of teachers across the province to rein in wages and benefits and ban a strike or lockout for the next two school years.

And in British Columbia, teachers return to work with similar legislation already in place. In February, B.C. passed a bill suspending a teachers' strike that had been underway and barring a spending increase in any settlement.

Laurel Broten is the Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario. She joined us from Toronto.

Disenchanted Teachers Back to School - Panel

We started this segment with some angry thoughts from Ontario teachers directed at Dalton McGuinty -- the man's who considers himself the education premier.  As many as 4-thousand teachers crowded the front lawn of the provincial legislature yesterday to protest the controversial bill.

To talk about what all that acrimony with governments may mean for teachers and students, we were joined by two people. Tara Ehrcke is a high-school teacher and the President of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association. She also runs a blog called Staffroom Confidential. We reached her at her home in Victoria, British Columbia. And Martha Farquhar-Mcdonnell is a Toronto elementary teacher and she joined us in our studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino and Josh Bloch.


Other segment from today's show:

Tarnished: Documentary Repeat

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