Volume 39 - 2004-05
Humans have 10 fingers, so it isn’t surprising that those 10 handy digits likely influenced the metric system, which is based on the number 10. Ten has held significance throughout the ages— God handed down 10 commandments to Moses, a rosary is divided into sections of 10 beads, a decathlon is a track and field contest of 10 events, and special meaning surrounds the 10-year milestones of anniversaries and birthdays.
No wonder Learning Minister Lyle Oberg proposed 10 as the number of years for a long-term agreement with Alberta’s teachers. But what would 10 years mean to teachers and to public education in Alberta?
In Oberg’s view of a perfect world, 10 years of labour peace in public education would mean a decade in which teachers would collectively close their classroom doors and remain silent. It would mean silencing teachers’ demands for smaller class sizes or resources to meet the needs of the children they teach. Oberg’s dream decade would see collective agreements frozen, and school boards alone would decide on local issues such as class size and composition, preparation time, extra-curricular activities and teacher health benefits. No wonder the Alberta School Boards Association supported the learning minister.
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