Home > Incoherent Text, Random Thoughts > One Man’s opinion on the BC Teachers Strike…

One Man’s opinion on the BC Teachers Strike…

I might be biased on this subject as my wife is a BC Teacher; but I see every day the extra time, work and effort that she does for her students & class. Not to mention the extra money that she spends on supplies, crafts and events so that those kids will have a fun learning environment. The late nights getting project supplies ready for the next day. I myself have helped scan documents, or cut string lengths or drawing backdrops for class plays on the weekend DURING this strike; so that she might get done sooner and have some time with her OWN kids. I have seen her staying up late creating a newsletter for parents every week DURING the strike to keep them up to date. She has written more progress reports on the kids than any parent would see normally if report cards were still in effect. So your little Dick or Jane did not get a letter grade, so what? You still know where they need help and where they are excelling, more so than if you waited for the report card at which time it is too late to get their butts in gear. If you are a parent that cares how your kid is doing in school you will be talking to their teacher. If you’re a lazy parent you will just wait for a report card to show up. Saying that my wife is upset and stressed with the current state of teaching in BC would be an understatement. And trust me, it has not been long since I was in school, (I’m not that freaking old) but even I can’t agree with all the policies that are implemented by the local school district. So trust me when I say I have some issues with how kids are being taught even though my wife is a teacher. Back in my day your kid could be held back a grade. Today that is too socially/emotionally scarring. How about the scars caused by your kid not able to read, write or have basic math skills because the system pushed them along with their peers? But I digress…

Sure many of you readers would simply say “Well if they don’t like it find another job!” or “Stop the strike and their whining and get back to work.” Their last contract came down in 2006. Are you telling me that you would be happy to have no raise, no cost of living increase, no promotion in YOUR job in the last 6 years?

* Update -Okay I can admit when I am wrong and have gone back into what contracts I can find online in regards to teachers back to 1997.  Wage increases I found – 1997-2001 was 0,0,2.5 for that contract, main reason for the 0% increases was in a bid to keep support staff and other services for the kids. 2001-2004 was 2.5, 2.5, 2.5. 2006-2011 total of 16% . So for a total over 15 years – 26% wage increase. (though it is odd that they extended this last contract an extra year – perhaps not to have an issue during the 2010 Olympics ME thinks) Now lets take a look at the BC Legislature and all our wonderful MLA’s.  June 1, 2007 – 29-53% wage increase depending on position. May 2009 the BC NDP take the raise they claimed was an “obscene pay increase” in 2007. the AVERAGE MLA wage between 2007 – 2010 increased by 34%. I still think what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Trust me when I say being a teacher is not an easy task. I see every day the toll it can take on a person. I try to help where I can with the things I can, but my wife can’t even come home at the end of the day and vent to me about issues about the school, kids or parents due to confidentiality. That is a lot of emotion to keep bottled up inside.

My wife starts her day at 5am making sure she has all she needs ready for the class, checking emails from parents/school. Heading into work early to make sure the classroom is set up and ready for the day. She spends many days staying late with kids after class waiting for parents to pick them up or cleaning up the classroom.  Once our kids are in bed she starts the next round of prepping for the following day/week: writing up her lesson plans, getting all the documents together, hand-outs, supplies. Or her going in on weekends and/or over the holidays to maintain some eggs in an incubator or salmon fry in a fish tank. This is all on her own time, time that she is not paid for, time she gives up because she loves teaching and cares about her students. We can be in a store shopping and bump into an old student that runs up and gives her a hug because she was so great. Parents asking which school she is in so they might get their younger kid into her class because she was so great with their other kid(s). Parents who tell her that their kid still thinks she was the best teacher ever, even after they have graduated. Those are the times my wife feels appreciated as a teacher, but now all she feels is used and forgotten by the government and the public whom kids she teaches.

So, today class we will be discussing the current state of affairs of the BC Government vs. the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF)…The BCTF and the BC Government are currently locked in a stalemate over the creation of a new contract as their last agreement ended in June 2011.

The BC Government has decided that in “some” cases they have the right to run with a “Net Zero” policy for negotiations. Even Trevor Hughes, the assistant deputy minister of industrial relations, states in his report that it is very unlikely the B.C.’s teachers will reach a voluntary agreement with their government employers due to the net zero policy: “The net zero mandate is a fundamental obstacle,” concluded Hughes. I think those in government need to go back to school to learn what NEGOTIATION means. I’ll help you out with a definition: the reaching of agreement through discussion and compromise. So if the BC government wants a contract that would mean they will have to compromise and come to the table with something rather than nothing. Right now the government is acting like small kid having a tantrum arms crossed and screaming NO to every offer. Want a cookie little BC Government? …NO!

Teachers are currently running with a Phase 1 job action, this is the cessation of administrative duties, i.e. attending staff meetings, completion of report cards, collecting of fundraising money, etc. Now teachers have been deemed an essential service, in the same vein as police, ambulance, nurses, and municipal workers. Do you really think your kid will not survive without a report card? I’m sure if you asked most students if they miss their report cards you will get a “Hell, No!” Nowhere in this phase of job action is it listed NOT to teach your kids. If you want a full listing of what actions the teachers can’t do under this phase it can be found here: http://www.bctf.ca/qdta/documents/20110819Phase1JobAction.PDF

“Net zero” is not for everyone* 

The BC Government says it has imposed a “net zero” requirement for the public sector.  This means that any improvements must be matched by concessions that give up something from the collective agreement.

However, the facts show that it is only some in the public sector, including teachers, who are covered.

Here are examples of what other public sector employees in BC have negotiated in terms of salary increases:

BC Nurses – 3% for 2009, 3% for 2010, 3% for 2011

Delta Police – 8.75% over 33 months as of April 1, 2010

Kamloops Municipal Employees (CUPE) – 2% for 2011, 2% for 2012, 2% for 2013

Surrey Firefighters – 3% for 2010, 2.5% for 2011

North Cowichan Municipal Employees (CUPE) – 2% for 2010, 2.5% for 2011, 2.5% for 2012, 3% for 2013

Comox District Municipal Employees (CUPE) – 2% for 2010, 2% for 2011, 3% for 2012, 2% for 2013

Vancouver Police – 2.95% for 2010, 2.95% for 2011, 1.25% for 2012, 1.3% for 2013

Quesnel Municipal Employees (CUPE) – 0% for 2010, 1.5% for 2011, 2% for 2012

Courtenay Municipal Employees (CUPE) – 2% for 2011, 2% for 2012, 2.75% for 2013, 2.25% for 2014

BC Paramedics – 3% for 2010

Revelstoke Municipal Employees – 1.25% for 2010, 1.25% for 2011, 1.5% for 2012, 1.5% for 2013

And you wonder why there is little news support for the teacher’s point of view in this battle; in my opinion the answer is this:

Global TV workers have negotiated increases as well: Global TV (CEP) – 3.5% for 2011, 2.5% for 2012, 2% for 2013

*source http://bctf.ca/BargainingAndContracts.aspx?id=25224&libID=25214

So if the policy is to give nothing, where did all these increases come from? All of NOTHING is still NOTHING yet others have new contracts with raises. And if you can give these increases to others, why are the teachers being so solidly blocked from being able to negotiate in good faith? If they are an essential service then you should have some room to move in the talks. That is unless the BC government feels that they are not essential enough to bargain with. Essential enough to force back to work with legislation, but not good enough to make a counter offer even. The BCTF have come to the table with THREE different proposals, BC Government, NONE! Yet in the media the BCTF is made out to be the bad guys who are unwilling to work out a contract. I’m looking at you Global TV!

BC currently has a big push that education is key to the growth of kids and the BC economy with their BC Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/theplan.php (which is a farce in itself) but as a government they are now looking to screw over all the teachers they need to implement this plan. I have overheard in the coffee shops and seen the comments online that we should just fire all the teachers and replace them. Do you honestly think that there are enough out of work teachers to replace all current teachers? Or that they would want to work for a government that just screwed over the last batch of teachers? Or that they would want to work at the current wages (or less) as they try to pay off their 6 years of student loans? Or who have the skills and experience to do a better job teaching your kids? I think anyone that feels that teachers have it easy should take over a class for a week, not a day, not a few hours a FULL week. Hell, we will even let you take a week during the Phase 1 job action, just to be nice. Get back to me when you are done and let me know your thoughts after that week. I know for a fact that I do not have the patience to deal with a class full of kids like my wife every day. I have enough issue with my own kids (According to our preschool teachers they listen there at least). I could not imagine dealing with YOUR KIDS every day.

A Quote from my wife:

“Did you know that the government wants to give my principal the power to give me two weeks’ notice (even in the middle of the school year) to transfer me to any other school in the district because it is in the best interest of the school district? Not my best interest, not the best interest of my students or my family. They want teachers to work in fear of speaking out for our rights and our student’s rights by holding the threat of transferring us over our heads. I did not go to university for 6 years to be bullied like this! I do not work late every night and get to work at 7:30 in the morning to be treated like I don’t do my job. I am teaching my girls and my students how to stand up against bullies. I WILL VOTE YES on Tuesday! For me, this has NEVER been about my wages or benefits. I just want to have my basic rights preserved. If someone thinks I’m a bad teacher, then help me get better. But NEVER USE FEAR TACTICS TO MAKE ME COMPLY! Only an idiot would vote no. And being the only income right now, this is the worst time for a strike. BUT I will still vote to do the right thing.” (If you follow my unemployed bum post you know what’s up with the one income comment)

Yup, that’s right; the new contract that the BC Government wants to force down the throats of the teachers would strip away many basic workers’ rights. Some of which would be against BC’s own labour laws. Basically what this comes down to is that instead of following normal conflict resolution procedures the principle can say: “Hey, I don’t like you. So I am sending you to this job in Timbuktu in the best interest of the district.” How convenient is it that those that make the laws can change the laws to suit themselves.

Sure, if you replace them all you might wind up with a bunch of teachers that are just happy to have a job and will stand to attention and scream “Yes Sir, whatever you say Sir.” But is that really better? Do you really want a bunch of newbies fresh out of school with “Net Zero” experience? Trust me there is a BIG difference between book smarts and real world experience. And yes, I am fully aware that not all teachers are perfect; and many coast along in their jobs. I can remember one such teacher from high school; she’d come into class flip on a video and then take a nap at her desk. So yes there can be issues, but teaching is not something one studies to become because they get the summers off or to get rich. Hell, I think at the going rate a McDonald’s restaurant manager makes more money than the average school teacher in BC. A career in teaching is for that rare breed of person that actually wants to teach and mold the minds of our future leaders.

The BC Federation of Labour conducted a phone survey on February 25th in which BC residents are in favour of arbitration at a rate of 89%, the full report can be found here: http://bcfed.ca/files/Environics-TeacherBargainingSurvey.pdf . If you support your teacher(s) and want the best for your children I think it is high time you contact the BC MLA’s in your area. You can find their contact information here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm and give them a good ear, letter, email full of what you really think about their tactics in this dispute. And don’t just go yelling at the Liberals (even though they are the cause of all this). This issue is coming up for debate in the parliament to enforce back to work legislation, which means we need the opposition party members to get up and fight it as well. And for those opposition MLA’s reading this; this might be a band wagon you want to jump up on…Hint, hint.

Another update: Who wants to see what Bill 22 – 2012 EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT is all about? The document can be found here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/1st_read/gov22-1.htm I will post more after I get a chance to read this thing…

Geez, I get past the Definitions to run right into this Cluster F***:

Application of Labour Relations Code

2  (1) The Code and the regulations made under it apply in respect of a matter to which Division 2 or 3 applies, but if there is a conflict or an inconsistency between Division 2 or 3 and those enactments, Divisions 2 and 3 apply.

(2) The Labour Relations Board has exclusive jurisdiction to decide a question arising under Division 2 or 3, including any question of a conflict or an inconsistency referred to in subsection (1).

So basically what I am reading here is that; if anything within Division 2 or 3 is considered against the law under the Labour Relations Code the LRC laws are null & void.

What a way to start a contract, also wondering how they can back date a contract to July 2011, sure that was the end of the last contract but that means teachers pretty much loose a year. and in 2013 this starts all over again.

Hey look at that, Bill 22 gets to play with Class sizes…

(B) deleting Article D.2 entitled “K-3 Primary Class Size”, – Free Daycare for everyone! We can pack the little ones in like Sardines, I mean really how much can they learn in those classes, may as well just hire a babysitter and wait till they get to a real grade to teach them…oh wait, we have something on that as well in this Bill…

(2.1) Subject to subsection (2.4), a board must ensure that the class size of any class for any of grades 4 to 12 in any school in its school district does not exceed 30 students unless

(a) in the opinions of the superintendent of schools for the school district and the principal of the school, the organization of the class is appropriate for student learning, or

(b) the class is in a prescribed category of classes.

So what we got here is if there is a really good reason for the class to be bigger than 30 kids we can make it happen. In the mean time Grades 4-12 can be 30 kids per class. Maybe we should set 10 minutes per kid a day so that they can have some one on one time with the teacher, because I really see teachers having the time to deal with that many kids educational problems on a daily basis.

Update – since everyone seems to be coming straight to this post it will just get longer…

Sorry, that I have not updated lately on this matter but I’m still working on getting a job…

So, I noticed another little tidbit in Bill 22

(c) every employee must continue or resume his or her full duties and work schedules of employment with the employer,

Now add to the above portion of the Bill this next portion:

(1) An employee, the BCTF or an officer of the BCTF or of a local of the BCTF or a representative of the BCTF or of a local of the BCTF, who contravenes section 3 (1) (b), (c) or (e), as the case may be, commits an offence and is liable to the following:

(a) in the case of an employee, a fine amount of not more than $475 for each day on which the offence occurs;

(b) in the case of the BCTF, a fine amount of not less than $1.3 million for each day on which the offence occurs;

(c) in the case of an officer of the BCTF or of a local of the BCTF or a representative of the BCTF or of a local of the BCTF, a fine amount of not less than $2 500 for each day on which the offence occurs.

So basically if you are the coach of a team or in charge of any extra-curricular activities which you are doing on your OWN time now; you will have to continue those activities once Bill 22 is put into place or you will be fined. Yup, no good deed goes unpunished.

Petition to Stop Bill 22 – Sign it and pass it on to everyone you know:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/kill-bill-22/?cid=FB_Share

A Great post from a Teachers Perspective, By: Nick P.:

https://darkhorse3010.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/im-sharing-this-why-im-rattled-at-the-liberals-a-teachers-perspective/

So enough for now…as some other sparkly has my attention…till next time…OH SO SHINY…
D.

*Comments: I have been posting everyone’s comments that come in unless my SPAM settings auto deletes them (even before this blog there was a lot of spam coming in, it was a regular Monty Python skit here). So far I can say that there has not been anything really offensive so I have allowed them.  I feel everyone has their right to their opinion (hence my blog post), so let’s keep it that way please! This should be a no TROLL zone. Of note I am also aware that some commentators are using Guerrilla Mail accounts and such but I allow the comments once again because they are not out of line. I also do ISP checks, and I’m sure I am not the only one, so be careful when posting… (Is that subtle enough?)

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  1. BS Buster
    February 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    In 2006, the teachers and Government reached a tentative agreement for a 16% increase over a 5 year contract. Teachers were also eligible for a signing bonus of approximately $4000. So what do you mean “No Raise For 6 Years”. Make your opinions known, but don’t flat out lie…it really doesn’t help your cause.

    • shop girl
      February 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      There’s a signing bonus.. I must have missed that when I was hired 8 years ago.. and a 16% raise… I must have missed that too… I think you should come into my classroom for a week and see what its really like in a classroom. I teach 200 different kids right now and I have at least 6 IEP kids in each class and about 3 or 4 more who have not been identified.

      • BS Buster
        February 28, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        These numbers are from the last contract…they’re not made up, and they’re quite easy to find if you spend about 30 seconds to look. Anyway, I’m not saying teachers don’t deserve an increase, I’m just asking that the truth be told in posts such as this. Don’t risk all creditability just to try and win support. It’s not the right thing to do, and certainly not the type of thing I find acceptable from the people teaching our children.

    • C
      February 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      I certainly never got a signing bonus 2 years ago. A 16% raise?! Wow, perhaps then I could pay off my student loans enough that I can go get my Masters degree to become an even more effective teacher. Seriously, get your facts straight.

    • February 28, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      Just letting you know I did an update in regards to your comment.

    • Truthbetold
      March 4, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      if you go back and read the FULL letter above, he corrects himself…..

  2. Holden Caulfield
    February 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Is it just me or do teachers not get a lot more than summers off. What about the two weeks for Christmas, the week off for spring break, every single bank holiday, pro D days. I have a few friends who teach and I can’t help but think there’s a lot I’d put up with as well if it meant me getting over 11 weeks off in the year

    • C
      February 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM

      Oh you have to be kidding right? Over Christmas “break” I still work 4-5 hours a day most days planning for after the break, catching up in marking, etc. Same over spring break. Summer breaks are spent attending workshops and conferences to become a better, more effective teacher, planning for September, creating and buying supplies, cleaning and organizing my classroom, all with no pay cheque (we only get paid over 10 months). Truly, my students are in my mind at all times. I must be aware at all times that I am a teacher and therefore must be in teacher mode at any time I am in public: shopping at the grocery store, going out for dinner, going to the lake with my friends or family, skiing on the weekends.

    • February 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Okay I was trying to be funny with the summers off joke which was common back in the day when you asked friends what they wanted to be in life; but it must not have translated well via digital means. As with any job you would be dealing with the normal holidays along with Spring/Christmas breaks. That said; I know people in the retail sector that with normal time off, holidays and Accumulated Time Off (A.T.O) they work a total of 27 weeks out of 52. Average salary for them is $55,000+ a year. I should have stayed working for that retail chain… And I agree with C. my wife never is truly free during her time off, she normally spends a lot of time over her holidays in her class prepping or cleaning/organizing.

    • Hwie Lie
      February 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      pro days are not days off!

    • Truthbetold
      March 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      I wasn’t aware that Pro D days were “days off” …. and here I have spent all this time going to workshops, training, and taking extra courses ….hmmmm

      You are right, we get stat holidays as does everyone else …. and if they don’t, they are paid overtime or stat pay ….. useless point.

      Let’s not compare “days” worked …. let’s talk “hours” worked. i have done the calculation …. and in the end, yes…. outside of stat holidays, I am guilty of 16 days of holiday … unpaid.

  3. Jennifer Swan Rogers
    February 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    If you wanted the summers off you should have become a teacher!!! I have taught for 18 years and I have NEVER taken a Christamas, Easter holiday “off” nor have I ever had an entire summer off. I work for two solid weeks before school starts in September and I too attend workshops and conferences (that I usually pay for myself). I work EVERY weekend and take work home EVERY evening. When you see the teachers from my school leave for the days their hands are full.

  4. S. Mullins
    February 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    The BC Government wants a fight with workers, let’s give them one.

    • Donalee
      February 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      It’s not a fight you can win though, quite simply most of the public (right or wrong) doesn’t have the stomach to pay more taxes or have services cut so that public sector workers can get a wage increase

  5. js
    February 28, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Your boss should be able to give you 2 weeks notice and be able to fire, every job in the private sector is like this. Why should you get raise just because you did your job? Your pay raise should be based on your performance. Also teachers are not the only ones that take work home or have a huge amount of stress. Being stressed out from work and waking up at 5AM for work is not a strange occurrence its more the norm.

    • February 29, 2012 at 7:34 AM

      Sure any job in the private sector can fire you, BUT under BC Labour Laws only after all avenues to fix the issue have been exhausted. Conflict management, re-training, etc., in this regard there is none of that, BOOM your gone. Hell, look at some of my older posts, I was working and then I was given 2 options regarding my job, part time at reduced wage or have a nice day. I took have a nice day and I was gone THAT day, packed up all my work stuff and handed it over.

      Yes, lots of other people have stress and get up early for work, but do you get up early and do work on your own time & dime before going to work everyday? or do you get up and go to work since you have the early shift? Add the work and prep time teachers do on their own time at night and weekends. A good portion of workers out there punch a clock at the end of the day and mentally leave their job at the door when they walk out.

      Being married to a teacher I find that she is always on the job, thinking about the next thing to do with the class, buying stuff because she saw something that her classroom needs. Stopping in a store to talk to parents or kids. And in the end very rarely does she get a thank you from anyone.

      • Kevin
        February 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        There are exceptions to the BC Labour Law you quote. One example is IT.

        As for your question about stress and getting up early, I’m at work right now. It’s 11:09pm. And I started work before 8am. And I’ll be doing the same tomorrow. And for the remainder this week. And the next 6 weeks until this project is done. Then I’ll have 1-2 weeks of down time and return to 40-60 hours a week.

        I find no pity in your complaints about your spouse always thinking about the job. Welcome to life? My spouse and I spend much of our time thinking about work, in fact we often discuss our work in “off hours.” It’s what you do if you care about your job. If you don’t then don’t spend your time thinking about it. And if you really find the job unbearable then change jobs. You’re not forced to work nor will you or your family starve – you’re in Canada.

      • March 1, 2012 at 7:16 AM

        I don’t know, I think that one example is pretty important. That one example states that basic workers’ rights under the Labour Laws are to be ignored in favour of Bill 22’s contents. But as with all of this blog it is my opinion on the matter.

        As for your working conditions you have chosen whatever line of work you are in, but you made my point when you state that you are compensated with 1-2weeks of down time for your extra effort. Not much down time for others out there in the work force I never got any for working late or weekends in my last job. I was paid by a yearly salary, if that meant I got my job done in 8 hours a day or 12 hours a day I got paid the same. If you are on a yearly salary yet once again choose to do those extra hours without remuneration I can’t feel sorry for you either. The world is full of choices one difference is the fact that due to confidentiality requirements my wife CAN’T discuss her job with me unlike you in your “off hours”, she can’t come home and tell me what a kid did in class, or what the principle said or did. All she can tell me is what she is doing next, and if she needs help getting ready for that.

        Call it whining, or call it venting but why put someone down for saying how they feel? And from the sounds of your own comments you’re not that happy with your own work situation in my opinion. Also it must be nice to be at work, 11:09pm or not, surfing the web and reading blogs.

  6. Hwie Lie
    February 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    One last short comment: not only do teachers work during their holidays, but also during their maternity leaves! I am on maternity leave and have already had to write 2 reference letters for my grade 12 students. (This is voluntary, but how can I say no to deserving students?). And given that the math curriculum is undergoing a change, that will be another 25+ hours per course that I will have to spend preparing for it. (Keep in mind that with grade 11 for instance, that represents 3 new courses, not 1).

    • Kevin
      February 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      I don’t know what to say here: you work during your holidays and mat leave but you recognize it’s by your own choice. You therefore have no right to complain.

      As for the 25+ hour course, welcome to an evolving profession. Get used to it or move to one that doesn’t evolve.

  7. February 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Really informative pass this on to Abbott and Clark!!

  8. Karen Regan
    February 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    All teachers in BC did not receive a 16% raise. Payscales across the province still vary, a result of when teachers negotiated with their local school board. Those that taught in certain geopgrphic areas where they were on the low end of the payscale ( when compared to other districts across the province), were given a raise to bring them up closer to the average teachers salary in BC.

    Teachers are fighting against a government which simply changes the laws to suit their purpose. Whether or not you agree with the teacher’s position, or you value their work and contribution to society, is not the point. Look at the way this government is refusing to negotiate in good faith. They have no reason to negotiate when they have the power ( that we bestowed them, as they are elected) to change the laws.

    How many of you would stand back and let your employer tear away at the rights that you have fought for through previous bargainning? Teachers are not just looking at a zero mandate, it is almost certain that they will lose contract language that they have earned through NOT taking pay raises.

    What is also scary is that they are left powerless to fight it. A mock mediation is no mediation at all, since the mediator will be appointed by the MInister of Education and will be given strict guidelines to follow. Also, no way to strike once this legislation is passed, as the daily fines are crippling to individuals, locals and the Federation.

    What this province needs is a infusion of courage. Courage to stand up against this government’s tactics. Whether or not you support teachers, can you really support the underhandedness of this government? I beg of you to contact your MLA. Let them know that you still believe in a democratic process, and most definitely deserve one.

    • February 29, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Great comment, I was surprised to learn the differences in wages between all the districts.

  9. February 29, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Darkhorse, there were really big differences in wages across the province, for a long time. Back in the early 90’s, Maple Ridge teachers agreed to take no raises for a couple of years in exchange for class size and compensation guarantees. Other districts took pay increases instead. Shortly after that, the bargaining changed to a province-wide system and there was no opportunity to get back in line with other districts until 2005 when the salary grid was harmonized. Also, those class size and composition guarantees were stripped from our contract in 2002, illegally, by the Lib’s. So, for most of my career, I’ve been paid less than my neighboring colleagues, PLUS I didn’t get the trade off of better learning conditions for my students.

  10. Kevin
    February 29, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Very interesting post but I’m amazed, disappointed really, that so many comments are fundamentally whines. Yes, being a teacher requires skill and dedication. This is on par with a lot of jobs. Working on “off hours” is not unusual; it’s called the new economy and is the norm for nearly ever friend I know and for every colleague I have. j

    In the simplest of terms, if you don’t like the requirements of the job then quit. If you love your job then work to improve it. If you choose to work extra hours then you can’t complain about it; you /chose/ to do it. You’re garnering no sympathy by telling me that you work too hard.

    • Katie
      March 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      All of your posts are whines as well- why is it ok for you to whine? Does being in the private sector make it ok? I don’t think it’s whining- it’s more teachers just telling the truth. So many people bash teachers because they think it’s just play time all the time when in reality it’s a real job just like any other. The last time you got a raise was it on the news and did everyone feel free to comment on how you did not deserve it because you just sit at a desk all day? No. That’s fine- that’s the reality of the private sector. You chose a job that has long hours for part of the year- get over it. If you don’t like that- stop whining. But to whine that it’s whining well that’s very pot calling the kettle.

  11. James
    March 1, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I work for the a local city and I show up five minutes before my shift starts and I leave the minute it is finished. I do a great job and my boss would agree. I do not work on “off hours” and I’m not aware of friends working “off hours” either. Perhaps teachers do make a choice to put in their own time but it’s only to do their job competently. Not to mention it is a job that is getting more difficult by the year due to cutbacks in support and increases in class sizes.

  12. Barb
    March 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Well said

  13. Sandy
    March 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I haven’t seen a comment yet that clarifies that teachers are paid for days worked. We do not get paid for 2 weeks at xmas, spring break OR summer…..AND, since we’re on contract, we can’t collect UI over the summer. Just to make it, many teachers need to teach summer school to subsidize their meager income.

    I would also like to clarify that the above posts are true of all professions, there will always be those who go the extra mile in every job, they stay late, or take more courses to become more skilled, or maybe are just in it for the cash. In the past 18 yrs. of teaching, since there’s no motivation to make big cash because there isn’t any, I can honestly say I have not met one teacher who doesn’t love their job. Thank God people are becoming more informed in the past few days of what bill 22 is and how it will impact their children and education. This bill and proposed legislation is the biggest tragedy yet, in Canadian history I believe, devastating.

  14. D
    March 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    In response to teachers having time off over summer…we are not paid over the summer. Also, how many days a year do MLAs work?
    Spring and Xmas…during the school year, we are not able to take time off for holidays like many other professionals. These professionals also get holiday pay they can use throughout the year.

  15. Gloria Alkins
    March 4, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Been a teacher since 1983. Left BC in 2010. Currently teaching in Western Australia where public education is not well respected since private Christian schools are the norm. Extremely costly for parents to send their kids to private schools here yet they feel they have no choice since the public schools are no longer mainstream and tend to attract “the less motivated and problematic student”. Don’t destroy the BC public education system. It’s far superior to the education system we have in Australia!

    The vast majority of BC teachers work extremely hard and their job only gets more demanding with each year. They deserve a pay rise and yes, I do recall the Liberals and NDP allowing themselves a large pay rise during a time when restraint was being preached to other public sectors. Not surprising considering we had Campbell then.

    The NDP leaves much to be desired and is not giving British Columbians much choice at the ballot box. The Liberals are laughing since the opposition is not a formidable force and Clark and her cohorts can afford to be arrogant and unreasonable. Ms. Clark is a travesty at best. No substance to that woman just lots of posturing and fluffy rhetoric. As for the BCTF, I think they’ve got to tone it down as well. I’m hearing they’ve become too political and left wing. Are the two sides forgetting what’s at stake here? It’s about public education, its quality and its delivery in an ever-more competitive world. Students deserve the very best resources available and this includes proper class size and composition, adequate librarians and access to specialized classes be they remedial or gifted in nature. Teachers deserve to be respected for the hard-working and dedicated professionals they are. Yes, they deserve a decent pay rise and the amount they’re asking for is certainly reasonable. There shouldn’t have to be a long, drawn-out battle and subsequent costly job action to secure each and every Teacher Collective Agreement!!!! The children, parents and teachers deserve leagues better!!

    Adrian Dix, get off the pot and stand for something! BCTF, remain focussed on your mandate–represent your members without your own political agenda at heart (the BCTF is not a political party). And, Ms. Clark et al, do what’s right for public education and the children of BC by working in concert with the very team of professionals who have been entrusted to educate and equip the next generation to cope with the extremely difficult and pressing matters the next 40 years will bring.

  16. sue
    March 6, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    Just a comment, what’s Global TV got to do with this? They aren’t a government entity. Other than your comment the media is not giving support to teachers, I don’t get your point about Global TV.

  1. February 29, 2012 at 9:44 AM

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