Letters: Where has the money gone?

I love my job. I care for the students I teach. In the classroom is where I want to be.

Editor, The News:

Having been a student in this school district for 13 years and now a teacher here for 16, I can honestly say I have never had the feeling I do now as Labour Day weekend approaches.

I love my job. I care for the students I teach. In the classroom is where I want to be.

I never imagined that I would be seriously considering other employment options, but I find myself thinking about it.

The emotional roller coaster that we have been on during this round of bargaining will certainly have a lasting effect once we return to classrooms.

If the process underway between the government and teachers is being called bargaining, or negotiating, I thought it would be wise to take a look at what those terms mean.

Google defines negotiate as follows: try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others.

Obviously, both sides want different things. That’s why we need to negotiate an agreement.

However, there has been no real negotiating happening.

As a comparison, imagine a conversation between a parent and child where the child is looking for a raise in allowance from $2 a week.

The child brings an initial offer: $10  a week.

The parent makes a counter offer: $2 a week

Child: $8 a week.

Parent: We have no money to pay you more than $2 a week (but the family just built a pool in the backyard).

Child: $6 a week

Parent: We are willing to negotiate 24/7 with you, but you need to come to the ‘affordability zone,’ $2 a week.

This is not bargaining.

The government is not negotiating.

The government needs to come to the table without predetermined goals as this does not mean compromise.

It also needs to come to the table with additional funding to help reduce class sizes and improve class composition.

After all, the money was there before the government illegally took it out of the education budget.

Where has it gone?

Parents, grandparents, everyone who believes in the value of public education, please make your voices heard.

Call our MLAs, Doug Bing and Marc Dalton. Call our school trustees. Ask the government to negotiate with teachers.

Andrea Munro

Maple Ridge



Daycare costs more?

Editor, The News:

I’m not taking any side on the teacher dispute, as I’m not in the negotiations.

But I do have some questions I don’t understand.

Parents with kids under 13 will get $40 a day during the strike. If you extrapolate this to a class of 25, that’s a $1,000 a day or $20,000 a month.

Now, if a teacher was looking after the same number of kids, that’s $6,000 to $8,000 a month, or $12,000 to $14,000 less per month.

The other difference is one is babysat and the other is taught.

Also, there are guidelines set down by the B.C. government for daycares that set the level of kids at eight or less per daycare worker, yet a teacher can have 30 or more kids.

So why does the government set limits for daycares and not schools?

What I’m seeing is it would cost way more to have kids in daycare than in school.

Gary Fowle

Maple Ridge