Thursday, June 12, 2014
WHEN DID THIS GOVERNMENT LAST HONOUR TEACHERS?
It would be surprising that you have no opinion about the full-scale strike endorsed by 86% of 33,387 B.C. teachers who voted this week. Today may be the last day of school for the year, for teachers scheduled on the picket line of the current rotating strike action. Certainly Friday will be officially the last day of school for all students. You may have a parental opinion, a student opinion, a tax-paying citizen’s opinion and that opinion matters to teachers. Their livelihood and their own families, and their love for students and for teaching also matter to teachers. Notwithstanding the vote, teachers did not want the year to conclude this way. No teacher wants to be off work. No teacher wants to leave his or her students this way. No teacher wants to irritate parents. No teacher wants to abandon long anticipated student functions and events. No teacher wants to lose hundreds of dollars per day. No teacher wants to have twelve years of virtually unresolved contractual disrespect from an employer who should be honouring teachers. What some might deem to be lack of concern for students is entirely the reverse. Teachers know that particularly in elementary grades, a student thrives because of a teacher’s attention. If a class size limit is not implemented, students lose. It is because teachers want the best for your children and grandchildren that they have taken this stand. Our government honours all types of people from foster parents to sports heroes. When is the last time you remember in the past thirty years that teachers were honoured publicly for educating successive generations of public office holders, entrepreneurs, researchers, medical personnel, tradespeople of all kinds?