Dispute sinking teacher morale: Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association

President believes B.C. teachers will end up leaving the province for better pay elsewhere.

The lack of new education funding and another legislated contract are resulting in an all-time low for teacher morale, says the head of the local teachers’ union.

That could lead to more teachers leaving the province and fewer teachers leading extracurricular activities at their schools.

Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association president George Serra says the Liberal government’s recent decisions have made it clear it doesn’t have any respect for teachers or the teaching profession.

“Teaching isn’t just a job,” he said.

But given how teachers have been treated by the provincial government, he added, many are less inclined to take part in extracurricular activities.

“If you demoralize a group enough, that’s what is going to happen,” he said. “For example, there’s fewer teacher coaches these days. That’s a direct result of a Liberal government that doesn’t respect teachers.”

Serra believes B.C. teachers will end up leaving the province for better pay elsewhere, and fewer people will want to enter the profession.

“When you think of everything a teacher goes through to get their degree … only to end up being paid less than in other provinces, to have their contract stripped, to have a government that doesn’t respect their profession, it’s no wonder they might leave,” Serra said.

He called the recent decisions by the Liberal government proof they don’t support public education.

“What we’re seeing is another right-wing government targeting the working class,” Serra said. “I think a lot of teachers have had enough.”