It’s pretty hard to avoid discussion of Bill 115 in Ontario education circles these days. The labour action by OSSTF and ETFO is in the news every day. I have two stories to share.
An ETFO colleague, who used to teach with my wife received the devastating news that she had a diagnosis of breast cancer this fall. She received this news on the first day of school. On the very day that Bill 115 stripped her of her bank of sick days. So in addition to dealing with the stress of a horrible disease, she and her family had to sort out their options for taking the necessary leave to deal with her illness and get well. That is not fair on many levels.
Just this week, another colleague and friend has ended up in the hospital. As the doctors work to diagnose his illness and figure out what is wrong, he is rapidly burning through his newly allotted, Bill 115 sick days. There are many questions that arise, as this colleague is in in final year of teaching. This was meant to be one of his ‘best 5’ for pension purposes in his retirement. But if he’s off on leave, does this affect how this income will be calculated, and therefore impact his pension for the rest of his life if he choses to still retire? Again, questions that are not fair to be asked as you try and heal.
Both of these teachers have put in 30 (ish) years of service, and all that good faith and trust was taken away with a stroke of a pen.
I think of them when I have to remind myself why OSST and ETFO have chosen to stand up and fight Bill 115. Because it’s not right or fair to many of our colleagues.
I’m sure there are many other stories of impact. Do you have one?