I have sympathy for teachers. I believe they have lost some purchasing power in comparison to similarly educated people who are working in the public sector. They deserve to be heard. But the dollar is not even the chief issue is it?
No one seems to be listening.
Teachers surely do not want the public to perceive that they are responsible for this continuing impasse. They aren’t – responsible for this crippled negotiation. Are they asking too much? If all that you hear is the monetary demand, then you will think so. That is not the most critical aspect of their request for a new contract. Please understand that teachers care about the children who sit in their classrooms. With few exceptions, teachers are eager to be involved with parents in the preparation of succeeding generations for their lives and careers ahead. That is why class sizes and class composition matter to teachers. Both of these factors impact your children either positively or negatively. A teacher who has a class of twenty children spends more quality time with each student than a teacher with 35 pupils, several of whom have personal special needs requiring specialized attention. Education is one of the noblest professions extant, so it remains both an insult to teachers and an embarrassment to our BC governance that teachers are not treated with honour that precludes this regular deadlock.
The strike vote scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this next week is crucial to people's perception and support. Teachers will want to think twice about this vote and whether they want to be the catalysts for escalating the rhetoric and aggression and causing a blowup. This will likely be a successful vote but what will the motion be? Teachers surely do not want to shut down the entire system.