Monday, October 15, 2012


A prime example of someone who wasted the money instead of spending it correctly.  You can't expect your employees to "give back" when they can see a larger portion being wasted away on ridiculous programs like "all day kindergarten" among others.

Spend wisely.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Financial Post Math

So I had one of my viewers write to me and ask to look over, and give my "thoughts" on the following article:

You should all take a look at it, then read over some of my past posts.  If this isn't a prime example of the mountain of misinformation and/or lies that teachers have to deal with on a regular basis, I don't know what is.

Making this a bit more serious is that it is from an organization that is supposed to be the leading edge of financial information for our country.  Given that this magazine gives information on financial investments, RRSP's etc. one would hope (and others assume) that it had reporters that actually researched mathematical trends and/or facts instead of writing opinion pieces.

Lets take a look at some of the "facts" presented in this argument:

1. "Excessive Teacher Wages are a boondoogle we can't ignore"

As one of my previous blogs showed, each tax paying citizen of Ontario contributes $2111 to the Education system, of which 47.4% goes to teachers.  This amount is exactly the same as the cost of education in the United States and the United Kingdom.  The percentage given to Ontario teachers is virtually the same as 9 years ago and matches what other provinces spend on their teachers.

The only reason Ontario teachers get a slightly larger percentage of the pie is due to the cost of living in Toronto.  Is the writer saying that we are overspending and should pay Ontario teachers less than in other provinces, even though our cost of living is more?

2. "Teachers are paid $78 per hour." "This makes their effective hourly rate exceed $100 per hour"

First of all, where is this evidence coming from? The author says it is based on information from the  Elementary Teachers Federation website.  But the website doesn't list the hourly wage of a teacher. Where are the mathematical calculations that prove this to be true?

Statistics Canada says that Ontario educators (which include Principals, Vice Principals and Content Coordinators) make an average of $77,000 per year.

$77,000 divided by 192 days is $401 per day.  

Since my earlier blog proved that teachers work at a minimum of 8 hours per day, that works out to $50 per hour.

Sure, there may be some teachers making slightly more than that ($91,000 divided by 192 divided by 8 = $59) but this is nowhere near the $78 per hour that the author is claiming.

3. Relative to these earnings, this position requires modest education, limited qualifications, there is relatively weak competition to obtain entrance.

This argument is almost laughable and in direct contradiction to his "hourly rate' argument.  

A teacher at the top of the grid, making "$78" dollars an hour, has been teaching for 10 years, has a 4 year University Degree, a 1 year Education Degree, and, at least 2 more "Educational Specialists" to get them there.  An Educational Specialist is achieved by doing an Additional Qualification (University Level) course in your major.  However, if you didn't do a double major, you need to take 3 more Additional Qualification courses to achieve your second Educational Specialist.

So in essence, a teacher at the top of the grid has almost 6 FULL years of University study and 10 years of teaching experience.

How exactly is this a "modest education?" 

According to a 2006 Ontario census 26% of Ontario citizens have a University degree. 

Unfortunately, I was not able to find population data on the number of Ontario citizens that have at least 6 years of University education.  However, it would be safe to assume that this number would be less than the 26%.  In fact, FAR less.

So how can this writer be arguing that teachers have a "modest" level of Education,  
when very few members of the population actually have this level of education?

The answer is he didn't do the research on the amount of education a teacher has, and instead based in on opinion.  Moreover, he assumed that the "basic" amount of education needed by a teacher would place them at the top of the pay grid.  This is 100% incorrect.

Now for the "weak competition" argument.

Am I to believe (according to the author) that teachers make $78 to $100 per hour, have a "gold-plated" benefits package, get summers off, have limited education, and work only 6 hours a day, yet there is "weak competition" for the job?

Is that really an argument that is to be believed?  That people would rather work more, get paid less, have worse benefits, more competition for the job, and way more than the required amount of education  than be a teacher?

Really? How can this be?

And if it is, doesn't that say something about being a teacher?  

Perhaps it says that being a teacher isn't what their "facts" would have you believe?  

4.  "And, in terms of the necessity to perform additional work, preparation time is already negotiated into teachers’ collective agreements as part of their required minimum work day."

Once again, as my earlier blogs showed, teacher "preparation" time,  is simply "break time" that ensures that labour laws are being followed.  We get the exact same amount of "break" time as any other employee who works an 8 hour day.  Therefore, you cannot say that this time is to be put towards our "additional work" time.  That would be like telling the factory worker that his lunch time is to be spent stacking boxes.

By Ontario Law, "break time" is to be spent doing exactly that.

5. The point is that teachers, like other civil servants, are not required to work longer than the amounts negotiated for them by their unions.

Actually, teachers need to work more than the time "negotiated" for them by their unions in order to meet the demands of the job.  For example, as my earlier blog stated, teachers are asked to perform diagnostic tests like CASI, DRA, and/or complete I.E.P's, that take hours to do.  Yet, these are not part of the negotiated work day. 

Neither is report card writing, staff meetings, marking, lesson planning, parent-teacher conferences etc.

In fact, these such things add nearly 300 extra hours of work for a teacher outside of the "negotiated time."

By the way, the completion of report cards, parent-teacher conferences, and I.E.P's is mandated by the Education Act.  So teachers HAVE to do these tasks.  

This article is so full of blatant lies, misinformation and/or a lack of research that I am immediately ceasing my subscription to it. 

I have already called the Financial Post and informed them of my reasons for not wanting to read their paper.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I am a teacher.  It has to do with the fact that their "facts" are lies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Busy Times

So things have been quite hectic at work, causing a bit of a delay in the writing of my next blog.  I was also waiting for some more news, or anti-teacher arguments to combat with real facts.

Today I got my ammunition in the form of an ETT email blast.  Among other things, it asked members to come up with their most creative signs and hold them up  in front of local Liberal MPP's places of business.


Making signs?

Is this really how we want to convince the 52% of individuals who do not support us in our latest struggle to side with us?

Through signs?

I get it.  Joe the Carpenter, who is trying to feed his family of 4, who doesn't receive 20 sick days a year, or "13 weeks of vacation," who doesn't work a "9 to 3" job, and who doesn't want his "thousands" of tax dollars wasted on teachers who make more than "$97,000" a year, is suddenly going to say:

"Hey, I love your sign.  You know what, you have officially convinced me to join your side against      Bill 115!"

Is this really what is going to happen?

Are people going to be convinced?


The media is going to film these creative sign makers and use it as just another example of "whining" teachers.  Teachers who have enough time to make signs, but complain that they are overworked.

If this isn't the most ridiculous waste of time and/or attempt at educating the public I don't know what is.  Other than perhaps those ETFO commercials that have been airing recently...

When is this collection of individuals going to get it together?

You win by educating. You win with facts.  You win with convincing arguments.

You don't win by holding up signs.

Wake up!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anti-Teacher Argument #6: It's Our Tax Dollars

Whenever another round of teacher contract negotiations come up, it is inevitable that the taxpaying citizens of Ontario become alarmed.  It is, after all, their money that pays the salaries of teachers.

Here are just a few comments that I have taken from some of the media message boards over the last few weeks:

"We pay you people to sit at home all summer and do nothing"
"I pay your salary!"
"You should make minimum wage because you are on my wallet."
"You people are lazy and whiners.  Tax payers can't afford to pay you."

But the most intriguing quote was naturally from Toronto Sun reporter Michael Coren:

"gave our money to teachers to prevent those same teachers from going on strike and thus giving grief and hardship to the very people — parents — who pay their wages in the first place."

Each of these comments got my mathematical mind to thinking.  Yes, Ontario taxpayers have the right to complain about where their money is going, but do they even know how much of it ends up in the pocket of teachers?

Are teachers salaries so high that the end result is "grief" and "hardship?" for Ontario citizens?

Lets take a look at the math.

Education Budget:  19 billion
Percentage Spent on Teacher Salaries (prior blogs)  47.3%
Citizens of Ontario: 12, 851, 821
% of Citizens of Ontario in the workforce (70%)

So the money that every working taxpayer contributes yearly to teachers salaries (including teachers) is (19 billion x .473) divided by (12,851,821 x 0.7) which equals about $1000 a year.

The amount they contribute overall to education would be 19 billion divided by (12,851,821 x 0.7) = $2,111.

That means that the average working taxpayer (including teachers) of Ontario contributes $2,111 towards our educational system, of which $1000 goes to teachers.

As stand alone numbers, these really have no meaning.

But if we look into daycare costs in Ontario, we discover that the typical rates are anywhere from $400- $900 PER MONTH or around $4800 - $10800 per year.

With the introduction of FREE All Day Kindergarten, the amount of Ontario citizens who will require daycare will decrease in number.

This should free up more money to be contributed to the system.  After all, a significant portion of the population will now be saving upwards of $5000 a year.

Some will even save $8000 per year.

More interestingly however, is the actual cost of education per student in Ontario in comparison to the United States and the United Kingdom

According to the government there were 2,061,390 students enrolled in public school in Ontario in 2010.

The educational budget from that year was around 17 billion dollars.

Thus, the cost per student was $8246.

According to the Heritage Foundation of America, the cost of a 12 year education for the typical American child is $100,000 or about $8333 per year.

The Telegraph Newspaper says the cost for public school in the U.K was $9000 (pounds).

Thus, despite what our taxpayers and media might be proclaiming, Ontario is spending an equivalent amount per pupil as other nations.

So teacher salaries are not a unique burden on the taxpayer.

In fact, the cost of education on the Ontario taxpayer is EXACTLY what it should be.

Monday, September 24, 2012

To Summarize So Far

1) Teachers do not work 9 to 3.  Based on only 6 additional tasks they work at minimum 9 to 5.

2) Teachers "prep time" replaces "break time" instead of adding to it.

3) Teachers do not need to perform extracurriculars as less than 25% of the population volunteers themselves.

4) Teachers do not get vacation pay but receive "sick day" pay instead.

5) Teacher salaries are not eating up the educational budget.  They are the same percentage of the pie as
they were in the Mike Harris era.

6) The media is misleading the public with anti-teacher rhetoric that is factually incorrect

7) Teachers are not allowed to discuss the waste in education as a means to prevent salary freezes and/or reductions

8) Teachers can be suspended without being told of the offense and/or providing an explanation

9) Few educated professionals suffered as a result of the recession, but teachers are expected to give
    back because of it.

10) Teachers have never once raised the notion of a salary increase, but rather, simply want the basic human right to be able to collectively bargain.

Anti-Teacher Argument #5 The Recession

So who really was negatively impacted by the recent recession?  Media outlets would have you believe that there was massive "carnage" throughout the private sector, and teachers, having escaped unharmed, need to stop "whining" and "give back."

But are these claims true?

Lets take a look at a few pieces of evidence from Statistics Canada:

The above chart reveals that most of the job losses during the "recession" were in low paying private sector jobs.  There was little job loss in typical professions. Moreover, most of the individuals who made less than $10.00 per hour were in the age range of 15-24, that is, people just starting their careers, not people who were in them.

But there is more:

So not only was most of the job loss incurred by those who were 15-24 in age and just getting started in their careers, but those who were 15-24 in age and lacking a University Degree (7.2% vs 0.6% in men and 2.7% vs 1.2% in women).

Since most professionals between the ages of 25-65 did not suffer as we have been led to believe, taking away a teachers right to collectively bargain because of the "massive carnage" is not a factual argument.

Nor is the argument that individuals were forced to take wage cuts, and thus, teachers should as well.  As the statistics show there was  actually an increase in jobs paying $40 or more per hour during this period (12.9%).

The Burden of Being a Teacher

The following note was passed to me from a friend.  This note was placed in his mailbox at school because the note-writer thought he was me.

Here is what it says:

"I am writing to ask your opinion on the following teacher related topic.  Maybe you will share your insights on your very informative and entertaining blog.

Recently a colleague of mine was sent home from school because of an allegation.  This colleague was not told of the nature of the allegation, nor has this person been asked to defend any words or actions.  This colleague is not allowed near TDSB property.  The teacher is being tried by multiple agencies and will not be afforded the opportunity to speak in defence of their "actions."

I ask, in what other profession is one punished without the ability to defend and without knowledge of their own crime?

Keep up the excellent work."

To this point, this blog has tried to make conclusions based upon facts.  To be the antithesis to the current media.

However, in this instance, it is impossible to research facts that support the "note-writers" claims.  There is no published information about the number of people who have experienced similar situations.

Yet, there are conversations.  Conversations that suggest that such is a regular occurrence.

I know it has happened before.

All it takes is an allegation from a student or parent and this can happen.

One student who is upset that a teacher gave them a bad grade.  One parent who didn't like the report card.

This kind of goes against what was written yesterday in the Toronto Sun:

Teachers control their marks and anyone who has been through the education system knows a teacher who is out to get a student can make their lives miserable.

Clearly this writer has no idea what currently goes on in education.  Even if a teacher makes a student's life miserable for a moment, he/she may be sent home as part of an unknown investigation.

As the secret note-writer asks, in what other profession does this occur?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More Media Lies

Our Union should target newspapers that print articles where there are blatant exaggerations of "facts" and/or a total disregard for investigative journalism. 

The Toronto Sun is one such paper.  Again and again, anti-teacher rhetoric is spewed forth, without so much as a widespread retort from ETFO.

Take for example these quotes in the Editorial Column from the Saturday September 22nd, 2012 edition of the Toronto Sun:

"Despite that, you would think teachers, who work 10 months a year with two weeks off at Christmas and one at March break, and who earn north of $90,000 annually at the top of their experience and salary grids, would realize how good they have it.

Especially compared to the ongoing carnage in the private sector since the 2008 global recession, where most workers consider themselves lucky to have a job."

I wonder what statistical analysis promoted the writer to suggest that there is "ongoing carnage" in the private sector, considering that a Statistics Canada report concluded the following:

"The recent recession was not as bad, employment-wise, in Canada as previous economic downturns have been.
Not only was the total job loss not as large, but the job market also rebounded more quickly, the agency found.

Canadian employment peaked in October 2008. Over the next 12 months, more than 400,000 jobs were lost. But those figures began to rebound quickly from late 2009 onward.

By January, the figure had fully recovered — 27 months after its initial trough."


Moreover, Statistics Canada concluded that:

"Canada's economic recession ended in the third quarter of 2009 and was not only shorter and milder than in other G7 countries."

So the carnage doesn't exist.  Unless it is needed to convince the public that taking away teachers basic human right to collectively bargain is acceptable.

Up next:  who really lost their jobs during the recession?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


An article in todays "tabloids" really got me thinking.  The article was about the Afrocentric School in Toronto having only 6 children and 3 teachers.  The article claims that the cost of running this program so far is $75,000 (Toronto Sun).

So what would be the yearly cost?  Since all teachers make "$90,000" a year the cost to run the program would be $270,000 in teacher salaries alone.  Then considering that teachers take up 47.3 percent of the education budget we can conclude that the actual cost of this program would be:

47.3 % of (unknown costs) = 270,000

Therefore the actual cost of running this program is  $570824.52 or about $95137 per kid.

Putting aside any anti-teacher arguments for a moment, suppose you are an accountant for a private company.

One day, the boss calls a staff meeting and informs his employees (and you) that there will be a significant reduction in wages, benefits and pensions,  plus he is going to force you to work three days a year for free.

He pleads with all of you to make these sacrifices for the "good of the company" which is in a serious financial crisis.

But you as the accountant know that the company has been frivolously spending an amount greater than the aforementioned cuts on expenses that are not required for the well-being of the company.

So you go and seek out your boss.

You tell him that you have ways to reduce company waste while at the same time maintaining the status quo in terms of wages and benefits.  No increases.  Just the status quo.

The response from your boss is to refuse to even hear your proposal, and legislate that you can no longer discuss issues of employee wages and benefits for the next 4 years.

Would you not be angry?

We know from the current NHL lockout that even individuals who make upwards of eight million a year still complain about cutbacks.  They say that if the league reduced the waste (Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers etc.) then there would be no need to "cut back."

But teachers are somehow different?

They are not supposed to complain?

In this situation, yes we should always complain when management takes away from employees because of their "wasteful" practices.

So the question becomes, what evidence exists in Ontario Education of waste?

Can we come up with a total that is greater than what is being cut from teachers?

Why don't my viewers get us started..  let the comments roll.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Proof in Point

As a follow up to my last argument, take a look at this comment that was posted in response to my blog on vacation pay:

Teacher work on average 154 days per year. This is part time work, and part time is part time. Doesn't matter if you are delivering pizza, cutting hair or working at Sears in the cosmetic section. These are all peer jobs to the common teacher. Part time is part time. Now for the salary and benefits. Teachers in South Dakota make $34,040 per year, and have 15 weeks holiday. Same job as our Canadian teachers, so why the huge difference in pay? Teachers are not professionals, the use of this term is insulting to us Professionals. You will not find one single Professional in Canada that only works 154 days per year, and shutting down at 3:30. Please refrain from using this term, we have worked very hard to attain our designations and teachers are demeaning it. We are educated with real degrees, not a bird BA (Burger All) and some bird courses written by the union to get a teaching certificate. And, that is all that it is, a certificate. Not like a true Professional Designation like a CA, or LLP, etc.

These are precisely the people that we will never convince and should not spend a single amount of time on (beyond this blog).

She has ignored every single blog post, the real facts, and made erroneous conclusions that are not based on reality.

Despite teachers being officially called "professionals" by government agencies, universities, and other councils, she has decided that based on generic and untrue comparisons that she is entitled to determine that we are not.

Despite proving that teachers work from 9 to 5 before calculating extracurriculars she claims the job ends at 3:30.

She believes that teachers in South Dakota, and their living expenses, are similar to Toronto based on the fact that she believes this to be true.

She believes that a 5 year University degree, plus at least 2 additional university level courses qualifies as a certificate.

I thank her for proving our argument.

Keeping Up: Future Blogs

When I decided to write this blog, my wife argued about its format.  I informed her that I would be writing arguments that build on one another, all leading to a certain end, while she wanted me to just write one blog with ALL the arguments.

We went with my idea.

To this point, I have been humbled by the amount of responses, both positively and negatively. While I knew that this was a "hot-button" issue, I had no idea that this blog would be a place where it was discussed.

However, I urge individuals to save their "opinions" until my argument is completed.  Please wait until all the information has been outlined so that an informed decision can be made.

That doesn't mean that I am urging you not to comment, especially when one of my posts hits a nerve, but I am hopeful you can remain open-minded.

I would encourage you to read all my blogs, not just the ones that help support your own argument.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the O.J. Simpson trial recall that the "jury" clung to the idea that the "glove doesn't fit," and resultantly, overlooked the mountain of evidence that pointed towards Simpson's guilt.

Why?   Because the jury was looking for any excuse to support their preconceived notions.

As teachers, we can only convince those who are willing to listen.

So please read all my blogs as a collective argument that the media is not providing the real facts.  That was those who are not in education rarely hear the truth.

Just so you know, I have enlisted a medical researcher at the University of Toronto who will be writing an article comparing teacher salaries to similar professions and busting the myth that teachers should be "giving back" because of a "recession."

This person is a friend, but was asked to write an article that is free of bias.  It just so happens that their conclusion supports teachers.  In fact, this person's belief system was completely changed due to their research.

I also will be posting information for parents, such as educational policy that negatively impacts children, "mark" fixing, credit farms, the I.E.P. process, and much more.

Thanks again.

Tell your friends.  Argue.  Join the site.  Follow me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Increasing Teacher Salaries Are Eating Up the Education Budget

Recent newspaper columns and media reports have lead people to believe that the raises given by the Liberal Government to Ontario teachers over the past few years is what is eating up the education budget.

The September 4th edition of the Toronto Star mentioned that "teachers’ compensation has increased by 25 per cent during the McGuinty government."

To the general public, this would seem like a pretty cut and dry argument and it goes like this:

One reason why Ontario has a deficit is because they are spending more on education and this is mainly due to an increase in teacher salaries.

But according to Stats Canada, this simply isn't true.

Take a look at the chart below, focussing carefully on Ontario

According to this chart, the percentage of the education budget that is going to educators, which Stats Can considers to be teachers and administrators, has gone up by only .7 of a percent since 2005  (It started at 46.6 and ended at 47.3).

Also note that it is on a downward trend (48.6 - 47.3)

Thus, while the education budget has increased by nearly 3 billion dollars in the same period (Ontario Ministry of Education) only .7 percent of this increase is due to teacher salaries.

Follow and Comment

Hello fellow viewers.

In order to move this blog up in the google search engines, please "follow" the blog and/or comment on it.

The more participation, the greater our reach, the more individuals get a glimpse into the truth of education in Ontario.

For those commenting- thank you.

Remember: the goal of this blog is to give you facts that the media is refusing to publish, so no matter your opinion, bear with me as I attempt to outline them for you.

Keep reading.  Keep telling your friends.

All Anti-Teachers, Pro-Teachers, Non-teachers, Teachers, etc.  are welcomed!

Stay tuned as future blogs will tackle educational policy that is negatively impacting children, class sizes, and teacher salaries.

What Ever Happened of Doing it for the Kids?

Teachers are always whining about their pay. What ever happened to "doing it for the kids"?

The above argument, posted on the blog, has also been echoed by politicians, reporters, and citizens of Ontario as a way to somehow rationalize that teachers should not be able to fight to improve their working conditions, pay, or benefits.

This blogger takes two perspectives.

1. If concerned citizens, politicians and reporters are that concerned about "the kids" then why would you attack those who could, and can, impact them with daily "anti-teacher" rhetoric and legislation that strips them of their collective bargaining rights?  

Shouldn't you just pay them more?

Or, at the very least, focus your media coverage on the positives of teaching, great teachers, and the importance of this profession.

For example, if the Toronto Maple Leafs want to attract the best free agent player, they don't start by telling them how terrible they are, how they don't deserve raises, how they are the reason for the teams past failures etc.

You try to sell them on the job of being a Toronto Maple Leaf.

If you want to attract the very best teachers, while at the same time taking away their bargaining rights, shouldn't you at least try to sell them on the positives of the job?

When was the last time a major media outlet published something positive about teachers?  

2.  Teaching is a career.  People who become teachers know that they are working with kids, and they hope to make some sort of impact on children.  But they do it for the money.  Sure, they also may do it for the job satisfaction, or because it fits their lifestyle, but lets be honest here,  we live in a capitalist system.  You need money to survive.  You need money to prosper.  You need money to enjoy your life.

If a police officer was given two options:  1) stay a police officer with a significant reduction in benefits and salary  or 2) change to a career that pays significantly more more, with the same working hours, benefits, etc.  do you not think for a moment that they would switch?

Or at the very least fight for their existing rights so they could stay a police officer?

But somehow, because teachers work with kids, they are not supposed to fight for their rights?  They are not supposed to fight for the right to be paid similarly to other professions where the minimum requirements are 5 years of university?

And all because they are supposed to be "Doing it for (someone else's)  Kids?"

Does the bus driver not have the right to fight for their benefits because he is "doing it for his passengers?"

Does the politician volunteer his/her rights away because he is "doing it for his constituents?"

Does the warehouse worker decide not to take his mandatory breaks because he is "doing it for his corporation?"

Of course not.

But teachers are.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Quick Update

This blog has had a very impressive 700 views since its inception yesterday. Lets continue spreading the truth by encouraging our friends to visit this site, posting comments, and doing whatever we can to get the real message out.

Also, perhaps you could comment and/or suggest topics that I can attack mathematically?

The more views and comments, the greater chance that this blog can move to the top of google search engines when you type in "Bill 115" instead of all the teacher-hater sites that keep popping up.

Don't worry, in the next few days I will be looking at "teachers being overpaid" and "teachers being lazy," and will conclusively prove that this is not the case.

All we have to do is get this message out.  Call the Union.  Let them know that it is time to change strategies.

Holding signs doesn't inspire public confidence or support.

Facts do.

Anti-Teacher Argument #4- Sick Days

Bill 115 will reduce teacher sick days from 20 to 10.

When I told my wife about this fact, she responded: "well nobody should get that amount of sick days anyway."

Then I told her an interesting fact.  Because the government does not consider the summer months, March Break, or Christmas holidays as actual "teacher vacation time," teachers, unlike the majority of Ontario workers, do not qualify for the mandatory 4% "vacation pay" established by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.


In fact, in a prior collective agreement, when the summer months were actually legally considered to be a "vacation" for teachers, the government and teachers, working in a partnership, proposed a cost-saving, incentive strategy.

** Please note: In order to be fair, it has been brought to my attention that there are differing views on if these negotiations ever took place and/or if it was teachers who suggested the change.  Older members of the Union say it took place, newer members are unsure. **

Thus, these so called "sick days" should really be called "vacation pay days" since teachers do not get vacation pay.

No, the general public does not get the opportunity to miss 20 days a year for being "sick."  But they do get 4% vacation pay.

Teachers get "sick day" pay instead.  Different term, same result.

For those who started teaching in the year 2000, the retirement gratuity would be for 1/2 of a days pay for any accumulated days OVER 200.

Lets look at why the mathematics make sense for the government:

1. $74,000 (average teacher salary)  x 4% vacation pay = $2960 x 30 years = 88,800

2. (30 years x 20 sick days - 200)  x 1/2 days salary ($200) =  $80,000

Thus, the government saves $8000 per teacher by awarding sick days instead of vacation pay.

In this system, there was an incentive to SAVE sick days for teachers.  While I don't have the exact numbers, I know that at my school, no teacher has ever used up the full 20 days during the course of the year.  I have never used up more than 7.  Our staff average is 8.

So rounding up for the sake of argument to 11 sick days per year being used, the actual retirement gratuity would be:

(30 years x 9 sick days - 200 days) x 1/2 days pay ($200) = $14,000 gratuity.  Adding in the cost of a supply teacher (11 days x 30 years x $240) = $79,200.

 Thus the actual cost of the "20 banked sick days" is around $79,200 + $14,000 = $93,200

Now lets take a look at the mathematics of the new system.

1. 10 sick days that cannot be banked (teachers will therefore use them all up) x 30 years x a full days supply pay ($240) = $72,000

Don't forget to add in the vacation pay of $88,800 for a 30 year career.

This equals a new cost of $160,800 for a 30 year teacher.

Of course, some of you will say that teachers shouldn't get vacation pay.  But why is that?  The only reason we don't get vacation pay is because we negotiated for the retirement gratuity so that the government could save $8000 per teacher.

But Bill 115 has removed our ability to  negotiate AND nullified our prior bargaining agreements.

If our prior agreements are nullified, then as Ontario employees, we are entitled to our 4% vacation pay.

Unless of course teachers are somehow different?

And why would we be?

Perhaps it is because we are overpaid?