Any time a union and its management get into a conflict, both sides seek to gain public support. To this end, both sides market their positions to the public. By “market” here I mean that they seek to make people believe things about their positions that don’t seem to be true. The current threatened strike by Ontario College Teachers is no different.
I should start by saying that I have no idea which side is being more reasonable. I’m just observing the spectacle as an interested party because my wife has gone back to school at a college.
The union, OPSEU, is doing its best to portray its position as not being about money. One paragraph about the conflict on the OPSEU web site begins “Although salary has not been the union’s focus ...”
Chair of the OPSEU bargaining team, Ted Montgomery is quoted as saying that “issues surrounding workload and academic freedom are of paramount importance.” However, when you look deeper into the issues, these demands cost money and management’s objection to them is their cost.
Like just about all strikes and threatened strikes, this one is about money. The union wants more and management doesn’t want to give more.
Let me stress that although I’ve picked on the union’s marketing efforts, I have no reason to believe that they have been any more or less reasonable than management.