Stories of unionization: four teachers' perspectives on collective bargaining in two Canadian private ESL schools

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
The private English language training industry in Canada has grown rapidly in recent years. While subject to influences of market competition, ESL schools have had little educational or labour regulation. This study presents life history interviews with four teachers who became involved in forming unions at their workplaces because of their experiences with just labour practices. The findings show that teachers sought union protection to deal with a pervasive sense of insecurity in their jobs. Through unions, they established clearer processes for dealing with such issues as the allocation of work and the resolution of grievances, a forum for communicating concerns to management, and a peer support structure. Additionally, these teachers have gained significant increases in salary and benefits. These narratives also show teachers, both individually and collectively, engaging in resistance as they confront the daily infringement of business priorities on their capacities to develop and practice as educators.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: DeCastell, Suzanne
Member of collection

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