Brandon teachers ‘Strike That Wasn’t’, 1922
The strike of Brandon teachers in 1922, also known as ‘The Strike That Wasn’t’ attracted national attention.
If any group of workers in Brandon’s history chose to flex their collective union muscles, there was never a less favourable time than 1922.
This was ordained from the year’s first meeting of city council. Mayor Harry Cater opened the proceedings with dire predictions and a disheartening commentary.
In order to stave off bankruptcy, he insisted, it would be necessary to practise the strictest economy.
There were eighty families on relief. The city had had to finance an accumulation of $400,000 in unpaid taxes. The banks had put a ceiling on overdraft privileges.
As he attempted to set the stage for a year of retrenchment, His Worship said that he would forego the mayor’s salary.
He combined the posts of city clerk and city treasurer, and urged that civic wages be cut by 12 percent.
At least one municipal body was listening to his appeal.
The school trustees abolished all positions dealing with manual training and domestic science and debated the need to cut salaries by 25 percent.
Understandably, the teachers resisted any program of restraint.
In communication with the board on March 18, and again on the twenty-seventh, they reinforced their collective belief that “economic conditions were not the proper ground” upon which to base compensation.
They dropped the first gauntlet by stating that if salary cuts were indeed made, they would not attend classes following the expiry of their contracts at the end of April.
In the face of inconclusive negotiations, the teachers struck on April 29.
The temper of the times may be learned from reading adjoining advertisements in prairie newspapers in the following week.
The Regina Leader stated: “Brandon school board has vacancies for a few teachers holding second-class professional standing. Address applications to the secretary, Brandon School Board!”
The neighbouring notice read: ”Brandon teachers having refused a reduction of 25 percent on $1,100 minimum, have received notices of dismissal.
Saskatchewan teachers are respectfully urged to assist their Brandon colleagues by ignoring Brandon school board advertisements for teachers. (signed) Teachers’ Alliance, Earl Grey, Saskatchewan!”
By the next week the trustees had recruited new teachers for half of the eighty classrooms.
In the remainder, in some instances, they hired high school students at four dollars per day to act as supervisor-teachers in some elementary classrooms.
Virtually all members of Brandon’s former teaching staff left the city.
Being both trained and experienced, some with up to twenty years of seniority, they were quickly fitted into school systems in Norwood, St. James, St. Vital, and Winnipeg.
– The Wheat City: A Pictorial History of Brandon by Fred McGuinness
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Tips for hanging framed items
We offer these tips courtesy of Larson-Juhl.
Even the most beautiful pieces of framed art can still look awkward if they are not hung logically.
Some of the key considerations are:
- Choosing framed art that fits the space where it will hang
- Hang frames in reasonably close proximity to the furniture below it to create unison
- Hang frames at eye level for maximum viewing pleasure, keeping in mind people stand in foyers and halls and sit in many other spaces so that height can vary.
To avoid crooked frames on the wall
When frames are hung from a single point, they usually shift on the wall over time.
Both for safety and also to keep frames straight, always hang everything from two points.
On heavier pieces this also helps distribute the weight.