Opinion

Letter: Teacher demands outrageous

Editor, The News:

Teaching is an honourable profession and most of us will agree that most teachers are completely sincere in their jobs, and we respect them for that.

However, it is those teachers who are ultimately responsible for the mess we are in regarding the current conflict.

After all, they, the members of the teachers’ federation, are the ones who have, for several decades now, elected ultra-militant executives.

When bargaining time comes, they start out with outlandish demands, far beyond what they themselves expect to get. That way they try to convince the public that they have made very significant concessions, when in fact, even after cutting back 50 per cent, the demands are still outrageous.

And don’t compare your wage packages to teachers in other provinces, but compare it to what thousands of British Columbians have to deal with.

For that matter, when will we, the people that pay every cent of your income, see a complete and open disclosure of teachers’ wage packages, including the cost of all benefits?

Furthermore, as members of the BCTF, you are the ones who can tell your executive to settle for the wage offer from the government. You can tell them, because they are answerable to you, not the other way around.

That will show that you are sincere when you say that it is all for the children.

Once the wage package has been agreed on, that is the time to zero in on class size and composition. But don’t forget that smaller classes means more teachers for the same amount of students and, consequently, less work for the current complement of teachers.

One more observation: teachers should be educators, not social workers. It is high time to reverse that trend.

There are numerous agencies to do the social work, and furthermore, we have to be much more critical of the parents that abdicate their responsibility of guiding their children and providing for them.

Walter Verwoerd

Maple Ridge

 

No pain, no gain

Editor, The News:

Teachers need to stick it out.

There will always be those who belittle teachers as simply greedy. They will, however, overlook the greediness of the government and, perhaps, their own greediness for that which is important to them, like their taxes, wages, mortgages, transport, food, medical, raising of their children.

Pot calling the kettle black?

The large majority of teachers are just people who care for their students, but who also care for their families.

Over quite a large number of years, the teachers have fallen behind police officers and nurses, for example, in wages, fighting more for class sizes and composition, and where did that get them? They have fought over 10 years to get a Supreme Court ruling that indicated that the Liberal government was wrong in tearing up a contract and legislating their own conditions upon the teachers.

The government just continues to sidestep the ruling with delay tactics and essentially zero negotiation offerings.

Teachers in B.C. do not charge for extra-curricular activities like most teachers in the United States. Maybe they should. If I was a teacher now, I would, foremost, become a self-survivalist. It wouldn’t help me or the students to be burnt out by the government demands, ineffective and meek school boards, derisive parents, or ‘I can do no wrong’ students. Or government threats of punitive penalties or even jail. No pain, no gain.

Let the greedy belittlings go on. That is fair in a democracy.

That is the fault-finders’ right – unless the government legislates against their right to be treated fairly.

Brian Koven

Pitt Meadows

 

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