Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wanted: a lot more transparency

THERE IS A COMMON THREAD between the failure to date of talks between the Ontario government and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and disclosure of the fact that the same government has been furtively paying millions of taxpayers’ dollars to other teachers’ unions, supposedly as compensation for the cost of collective bargaining.
In both cases, secrecy has been the rule, from start to finish.

Secrecy has almost always been the rule in bargaining within the private sector, an exception being when talks collapse and the employer tries to force a secret ballot on its ‘final’ offer. And that’s as it should be, since the public has little involvement in the process, at least until a long strike causes economic woes in a company town or the employer threatens to close its Canadian operations and move to a low-wage jurisdiction.

But in the public sector the public surely has a right to know what’s going on, since it’s the taxpayers who invariably are on the hook.  (more...)

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