EDUCATION DURING WARTIME

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Essential service

1942

Federal government declares teaching an essential service and forces teachers to remain in the positions they held in 1942-43. The measure makes it extremely difficult to bargain wage increases.

1943

Boards are required to give reasons for dismissal in writing.

More than 200 women teachers spend their summer doing war production work at a plant in Scarborough.

“Teachers expressed amazement at facilities provided for employees in a modern war plant,” reads a story in the company magazine. “Free bus service! Low cost sickness insurance and hospitalization! Free medical care… Two recesses a day with no children to look after… These we must assume from their surprise are not things usually provided for school teachers.”

Pro-education Premier George Drew is elected, with the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) as the official opposition. With 93% of teachers favouring mandatory membership in their respective federations, it’s only a matter of time before mandatory membership becomes law.