Teachers are guilty of "labour terrorism"?

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Teachers are guilty of “labour terrorism”? Sounds too ridiculous to take seriously? A Tory MP in Canada is using this charge to attack teachers in the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation who are asking for changes to a contract that was imposed on them.  But don’t brush this off as (a) loony, craziness or particular to Canada.  Recall, please, that Rod Paige, Secretary of Education under Bush Jr., called the National Education Association as a “terrorist organization.”  These are not slips. They reflect the policy environment of the World Bank, where a major report described teachers unions as “capturing governments.”  So let’s be clear that they truly believe that destroying teachers unions is no different from waging their war on terror. They  aim to destroy teachers unions because the unions impede their project to make education global capitalism’s handmaiden. The powerful elites guiding this project understand better than many teachers that despite their failings,  teachers unions are the most important protector internationally  of teaching as a profession and education as a social good.  PS – As the NUT prepares for its rolling strikes, I hope union activists realize this rhetoric is probably what you’re going to hear from Gove. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

About Author
LOIS WEINER writes on education and labor. She is currently revising The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice" (Haymarket Books, 2012) and is a member of the  New Politics editorial board.

 

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