Let me start by saying, the Ontario PC idea to give money to parents during the rotating strikes by the teacher’s unions, is a really dumb move. It single handedly undermines their entire bargaining position. Did no one at the Ministers office say out loud, what the public perception would be to this about face? I’m sure they thought of it as public relations coup, but in reality it’s turned into a real disaster.
If your entire bargaining position is that the public coffers are so bad, austerity measures must be implemented immediately, then you don’t have a lot of wiggle room for spontaneous spending. Saying to the party opposite the bargaining table we have no more to give and yet finding hundreds of millions of dollars over night, makes what you say questionable at best. For parents caught in the middle though, it makes you appear to be liars or at the very least incompetent.
Perhaps the parent pay wouldn’t be such a bad idea, if say it seemed that the government actually found a way to scrap together a bit of help. Instead it appears to be just another story in a long history of fiscal mismanagement by the Ontario PC party.
Stories like these:
Ontario’s deficit was $7.4B last year — far lower than the Ford government claimed it was
Ontario PCs To Spend $778 Million Reversing Their Own Cuts, Controversies
Doug Ford government spent $231M to scrap green energy projects
In politics as well as in life, your brand is everything. You can’t build a reliable and trustworthy brand if what you say doesn’t line up with your actions. Which is why the Ontario PC’s plan to win over parents hasn’t worked the way they had hoped. It isn’t in keeping with a fiscally prudent government, but rather with one lurching from idea to idea with no real vision forward. It also explains why the OSSTF thought they could leak an internal poll demonstrating the teachers are winning the battle.
This plan doesn’t show a government steady at the helm and confident in their decision making. But rather one that is desperate to look the part, and hoping to avoid added criticism at all costs. Parents are not looking to be played with or bribed for affections. We are looking for a strong resolution to this problem we are all in. Adult solutions are need for this very adult problem. No one is going to leave this situation entirely happy and satisfied, but we should all be able to move ahead with a stable learning environment for our children.
The sooner all parties return to the bargaining table, the better.
Update: Definitely looks like parents aren’t responding to that free money.
Update 2: Also definitely don’t do things you think will help you out if you haven’t planned it all the way through. Because chances are then it won’t.