Thursday, June 12, 2014


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?


  1. ok so tell me, you want smaller class sizes which in turn means more teachers. yet the teachers here that exist now want MORE money ALREADY. it would therefore be logical to say that the NEW teachers would be on the same wage increase that was promised. where exactly would you expect this extra money to come from??? is it just going to magically appear out of thin air to facilitate what is almost being DEMANDED by teachers? (made another much longer and more detailed comment but sadly it was not posted)

    1. keep in mind my mother was a teacher's aid and became a cupe national rep. for 25 years. my brother is a teacher that is currently here doing a teacher cert. at ubc and have a grandfather that was minister of lands and forests for alta and an aunt that was an M.P.

    2. for proof of point,%202014.pdf
      21.5 % increase on average $70,000 per year equates to $85050

    3. and you're going to say "but that was the initial deal put forth" ah yes ...i know it's 9.75% now but alas this is what was put forward to start and reflects the "intentions" and "priorities"

    4. Ryan, thanks for writing and stating an opinion.
      Two things. Unlike the focus of your comment, the teacher’s demands are not exclusively about money, and contrary to denials, the government has money. These BC teachers have seen no contract of substance for a dozen years, and a zero percent in 2012, so it is reasonable to expect a monetary demand. Of course, money has a non-magical source – the same source that meets the negotiated settlements with every other employee group, such as the recent CUPE teachers’ aids. Don’t concentrate a rant on BCTF’s initial financial demand claiming it’s excessively high. Of course it is, and negotiators expect it to be reduced during process. Beyond that, if you do not think that class size and composition affect both students and teachers, you have to make an effort to understand. Teacher assistance to deal with special needs children who require additional attention and skills for which teachers are not always trained. Then consider teachers who fulfill numerous sporting and recreational activities that are additional to teaching and well beyond any expected class time. And climax that with the knowledge that the government does not really want to honour your efforts with a reasonable settlement for many years in succession but penalizes and rallies sympathies of parents against teachers. Can anyone other than teachers do this job? No. Does anyone else want to do it? Clearly not. And if you stepped forward to do it, in short order you too would be asking the government for a fair deal.


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