Unpopular Opinions Are Unpopular

As Ontario girds for another school year of teacher discontent, the usual litany of union complaints is already piling up — $3.2 billion worth, according to media reports. Amid the well-worn gripes over salary, benefits and class sizes in particular, the elephant in the classroom remains unaddressed: the shockingly high salaries paid to teachers in the province. For all the complaints over class size, funding for equipment and a lack of education assistants, teachers seem blithely content to ignore the role their generous salaries play in those problems.

The numbers speak for themselves. In Hamilton, the public school board operates on an annual budget of $504 million. Of that amount, $373 million, or 73 per cent, goes to teachers’ salaries. If benefits are included, that number jumps to 87 per cent. Just four per cent, by comparison, goes to supplies and textbooks. Toronto tells a similar tale, with secondary school teacher salaries averaging $87,000, followed closely by their elementary counterparts at $82,000. Add in benefits and the numbers clock in at a hair under $100,000 annually. For comparison, the median family income in Ontario is $75,000.

These numbers hold up largely across the province: the overwhelming majority of budgets going towards teacher salaries with table scraps left over for students and supplies.  This point is driven home when one looks at Ontario’s Sunshine List of public-sector employees making over $100,000 each year. Thousands of elementary and secondary school teachers, admin and staff make the list; with some teachers reaching as high as $133,000 annually.

  • Petey the First

    I tutor high school math on the side for extra money, $40 /hr or $80 for two hours, a few sessions a week and it covers. The kicker is when I go on Kijiji and see how many math teachers, already making near $100,000 a year, are ALSO tutoring on the side and under the table.

    Why aren’t they teaching it right the first time?
    Why are the parents of the students paying TWICE?

    • Shebel

      Sooooo—How does this work?
      The teachers don’t spend enough time teaching math—-OR
      The math teachers are incompetent— OR
      The parents place no emphasis on learning math—OR
      Their is a multi-cultural mathematical barricade—-OR
      I dunno

      • Petey the First

        A combination of teacher quality and lack of out of class support. The textbooks are also unnecessarily confusing.

        • Clausewitz

          Don’t forget the steadily downgraded curriculum’s as the idiots at the Ministry of Education and the Board Office’s turn away from classical education towards social justice extremism.

          • Petey the First

            Dumbed down curriculum, credentialism and, yes, SJW silliness. Everyone in the examples has names like Taniqa and Ahmed.

    • Privatise education and make parents accountable for kids’ education, as well. Most parents see school as another form of baby-minding. Fail kids as young as kindergarten if that is what it takes. Do what Finland does and require a teacher to have mastered X topic. Abolish teachers’ unions. Then one will see a marked improvement in the quality of teachers, students and education.

      • Petey the First

        Hey! I gonna lose business with all that. :;

        • No, you won’t.

          No doubt, you’re a dedicated and qualified teacher and students like you (especially if you have stickers).

          Students will always need extra help or want to study more.

          However, the education system now is so degraded that students are having difficulty where they should not.

          • Clausewitz

            Funny thing is that I’m known throughout our school as a real ball buster when it comes to my classroom, and my expectations for my students. Once again this year I have 138 requests for the 90 positions in my classes. In a way I’m kinda proud about that.

          • I’m sure everyone loves you. 🙂

  • Edubeat

    According to one post in the NP comments section Howard Levitt is quoted as saying the Labour Relations Act must be changed to forbid teachers

    • Clausewitz

      ETFO just re elected their idiot Union President last week. Was he elected by all members of the Union? Hell no he was elected by the schools Union reps only. The similarities to the Soviet Politburo is stunning.

  • WalterBannon

    The left, like these teachers unions, are fond of telling us how much better the world would be if we were a socialist utopia

    On examination of some of these socialist utopias, like the bloody regime of Ho Chi Minh, one can see why the first thing they did after consolidating their power was to kill all the teachers…

  • Shebel

    There is only one GUY that will battle the teachers” overly powerful Unions as they indoctrinate the Children.
    This is He.


  • Raymond Hietapakka

    Two-Tier Economy in N.Ontario….those with decent gov’t jobs w/pensions and most everyone else without…

    • Shebel

      Is that why y’all tend to vote for the NDP ?

      You get a Gov’t job and are set for life ,or you don’t and aren’t—
      This should scare you.

    • Clausewitz

      Lots of Liberal support in the north. For a while Thunder Bay was a Liberal stronghold even as McGuinty was closing down provincial offices, and adding to the unemployment problems. I could never understand the folks there when I was there for a year as my wife went to school.