Should Principals Be Union Members?

Education, Michael Zwaagstra, Publications

Executive Summary


  • The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) is responsible for representing the interests of all 14,000 of its members.



  • Principals and vice-principals are considered teachers and are full members of (MTS).



  • The primary goal of MTS is the improvement of working conditions for teachers.



  • The job description of school principals makes it clear that they perform managerial functions.



  • Unions normally exclude managers from membership.



  • It is impossible for MTS to adequately represent the interests of principals when it regularly takes the side of teachers at Board of Arbitration hearings.



  • Principals have found that the Manitoba Teachers’ Society has been an active opponent of any attempt to exercise their management prerogatives in areas such as work assignments to employees.



  • Several other provinces, most notably British Columbia and Ontario, recognized this inherent conflict and established separate associations for principals and teachers.



  • Manitoba should create the Manitoba Principals’ Society, which would be responsible for representing the interests of principals and vice-principals.



  • Separating the Manitoba Principals’ Society from the Manitoba Teachers’ Society would ensure that both organizations would be able to represent the interests of their respective members more effectively.


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