In Canada the statistics aren’t as clear as the US graph shows, but the Fraser Institute does a pretty good job examining and comparing Canadian Education policies. Their conclusions are not substantially different from the Cato conclusions.
An excerpt from a September 2006 policy study titled Why Canadian Education Isn’t Improving (by Merrifield, Dare and Hepburn) shows how the unions and government are partners for the benefit of teachers rather than students.
Now that some provincial governments negotiate teacher contracts, their teacher unions have even greater political power.Democracy in action!
The special interest groups, especially the teachers’ unions, have a great deal of money at their disposal. Each year, every public school teacher has hundreds of dollars deducted from his paycheck at the source, money that the school boards send directly to the unions, providing them with a guaranteed revenue stream of millions of dollars every year. The unions’ financial power, combined with their ability to mobilize thousands of teachers, makes them very influential in the political arena.
Teachers’ unions participate in school board elections, often providing financial and logistical support, as well as urging their members to vote for certain candidates. Since voter turnout is low for school board elections and a disproportionate number of educators vote, the unions are frequently successful in electing a number of union sympathizers to the school boards (Moe, 2006). When contract negotiation time comes around, pro-union trustees sometimes represent management at the bargaining table, thus allowing the teachers’ unions to have representatives on both sides of the table (Moe, 2006).