1922 Award for Service to the Teaching Profession
In 1922, 87 teachers were employed by the Brandon School District. The City of Brandon was facing a shortfall in their city budget, and it was proposed that the budget would be balanced by cutting salaries of all teachers in the city.
On February 27, 1922, all teachers in Brandon were called to a meeting where the board chair addressed the group and gave them an ultimatum. The teachers could either accept a 25% reduction in salary or be given a letter of termination effective May 1 of 1922.
It is worth noting that of the 87 teachers, 73 were women. The city was proposing offsetting the entire $41,000 shortfall in the budget on the backs of 73 women and 14 men, instead of increasing taxes for all.
The teachers, all of whom were members of the Brandon Teachers’ Association, stood united and refused to take the pay cut. There were attempts made to negotiate with the board, but ultimately on May 1, 1922 all 87 teachers were terminated.
On May 19, 1922, The Manitoba Teachers’ Federation held a meeting at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg with more than 1,000 teachers attending. They adopted a resolution in support of the Brandon teachers. Following suit, The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Alliance and the Alberta Teachers’ Federation pledged moral and financial support. The Manitoba Teachers’ Federation, along with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, gathered financial support totaling $15,000.
The events of 1922 in Brandon were a powerful force towards establishing collective bargaining for all teachers in our country. These 87 brave teachers need to be recognized and remembered.
As a nationally significant event in furthering the movement for teachers collective bargaining rights, the events in Brandon were unifying for both The Manitoba Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. This event needs to be marked, those members need to be remembered and celebrated for their commitment to the profession.
We still have members who exhibit this type of bravery in our province and across Canada who deserve to be recognized for their service to the teaching profession. Establishing an award in honour of the Brandon teachers of 1922 reminds us to remember their sacrifice as well as to recognize those who continue to advance the rights of teachers.
The 1922 Award for Service to the Teaching Profession recognizes a member who has demonstrated leadership, commitment, and fortitude in service of union values and priorities to achieve positive and sustained change for current and future union members.
Both nominators and nominees must be a current MTS Active or Associate Member in Good Standing (per Bylaw I, 3.2-3.3).
The complete nominations package must be submitted on or before March 1, 2023 at 4:00 pm (local time). A confirmation of receipt will be sent within 2 business days.
Completed nominations packages that are received by the deadline will be forwarded to the 1922 Award Ad hoc Committee.
The 1922 Committee is responsible for reviewing all nominations and forwarding a final recommendation to Provincial Executive at the April meeting.
Unsuccessful nominees in any year will be automatically re-nominated for one year following the original nomination if they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
Successful nominees will be notified by the Executive Director immediately following the April meeting of Provincial Executive.
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