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Scores of individuals in our schools are passionate educators

Chris Erl, Westdale

Re: Extravagance at an end, Sept. 6

The writer’s indignation over the supposed greed of Ontario’s hard-working teachers points to a greater problem in our public discourse.

Too many Canadians who are underpaid, over-worked and trampled on by employers are quick to accept the line that everyone should be just as low on the economic totem poll as themselves.

Some middle-income and working families continue to fight for the rights of all people while other Ontarians jump on the austerity bandwagon and stand with the people who are the cause of this economic crisis.

The only words that come to mind are those of the writer John Steinbeck when he cleverly noted that they view themselves not as exploited workers, but as temporarily displaced millionaires.

To say that teachers simply think about themselves, as the letter writer claimed, is beyond insulting.

The scores of individuals I know in the teaching profession are passionate educators who seek to give their students as positive and enriching an education as they themselves received.

Contrary to what the letter writer has insinuated, many young teachers have to accept positions in the summer and over breaks, either tutoring or instructing extra courses simply to pay off extravagant student debt and make ends meet.

Ontario’s teachers deserve what they ask for, and far more.

We need to move past the assumption that we can all settle for less when we do not have to.

We can build a better province when we stop letting the right-wing dominate public debates and businesses mismanage our economy, only to have their mistakes rewarded with massive tax cuts from successive Liberal and Conservative governments.

We need to support public-sector employees and unions across Ontario as they fight for the rights of all people.

If those in Ontario who agree that our unionized employees are greedy want to live in a world where corporate CEOs are the only ones with job security and pension funds while everyone else has to settle for less, maybe relocating to Wisconsin will be a preferable option.

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