Editor, The News:
Re: Poppycock on election timing (Letters, July 2).
Eleanor Palis, what I call poppycock is your claim that all you’ve ever wanted to do is “be a part of making good decisions for kids.”
That may have been your guiding ideology back in the day, but it has been lost along the way in your current actions as a member of School District No. 42’s board of trustees.
You say that the battle being waged between the BCTF and the provincial government, “holding students, parents and teachers hostage,” is shameful.
What is truly shameful is your board’s lack of action in this critical and crucial time.
This truly is, as you put it, a “Goliath size fight,” which I believe requires Goliath-sized action.
This is no time to feign neutrality (we all saw the pictures of several board members at the Liberal MLA victory party in May 2013); this is the time to take a loud and passionate stand for education and for the unconstitutional actions of our government.
Your board’s recent letter to the B.C. government is by far too little too late. Why wasn’t it done back in the spring, when your chair tearfully announced another $5 million in cuts in order to balance the budget, when we requested your help and support, when many other boards across B.C. did so?
I am outraged and offended by your statement that our public rallies have been “obnoxious public displays” and your insinuation that our “being in front of the evening news cameras on a regular basis” has been a nuisance.
On the contrary, those passionate displays of activism have been necessary and helped our cause in spreading awareness about the crucial issues in this fight: severe government underfunding, downloading of costs to school boards, and, of course, the slashing and burning of class size and composition language – issues on which your board has remained mum.
You say that type of action is “not your style.” It is certainly not. Your style is closed-door meetings, disingenuous consultation, and lack of transparency.
Employees of School District No. 42 still have no idea why Laurie Meston, current acting superintendent and an award-winning advocate for children with special needs and who has served our district for over a quarter of a century, was not deemed ‘suitable’ to become our next superintendent.
I’d also like to know why your board was only one of four in all of B.C. that voted against a motion that would adopt a framework for bargaining that would have BCTF and BCPSEA (the government’s bargaining unit) working productively in negotiations. Wouldn’t that have been in the best interests of the students?
Ms. Palis, you are delusional to think that MRTA members support your actions. I can’t think of one teacher in our district who is supportive of your board’s cowardly actions in the face of this Goliath.
But don’t take my word for it.
I encourage all MRTA members, as well as our district’s CUPE members, to voice their opinion, whether or not they support the actions of our local school board in regards to government underfunding of education?
Let it be clear, Ms. Palis: I am the MRTA. I am the BCTF.
It is blatant Liberal propaganda and absolutely farcical to believe that teachers are caught in the middle of this dispute and were bullied into striking. That reeks of the same lambasting and demoralization of character in which you accuse MRTA president George Serra of engaging. We are this dispute.
My local association and our provincial federation work for and speak for me. We direct the actions of our executives through surveys, consultation, and voting. We voted 86 per cent in favour of a full-scale strike because we had to take a stand against a dictatorial government who has brought education to the brink of collapse.
What have you really done?
teacher SD 42