Opinion

News Views: Bitter dispute

Summer school and report cards are the latest casualties in the dispute between the provincial government and B.C. teachers.

Students in grades 10-12 are to see final letter grades by June 30, but most others are unlikely to see the results of their work.

Teachers also refused the government’s offer this past week to drop their pickets for summer school.

And we don’t blame them.

The provincial government has been painting teachers’ contract demands as unaffordable and out of line with what other public section unions recently settled for.

But the HEU and CUPE are lower skill unions than teachers, whose profession is designated an essential service. Teachers have a minimum four years of university education, and live in the most expensive province in the country. They are the second lowest paid group of teachers in Canada.

And earlier this year the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the provincial government violated teachers’ rights in disregarding negotiated class size limits and that the former did not bargain in good faith.

How much money has the provincial government saved since it began, in 2002, ignoring legislation on class sizes and special needs support? Much of the cost attached to teachers’ current demands is linked to honouring that legislation.

Teachers are currently asking for an eight per cent pay raise over five years, which is peanuts, especially given their responsibility in helping shape today’s youth. But teachers aren’t trying to get rich here. They are, in the bigger picture, fighting to preserve public education – which in the past two years has seen more than $10 million slashed from the local school district budget alone. School staff have been among the cuts.

What has the B.C. Liberal government done to improve public education? What it has done is create bitterness in public schools, which can’t be conducive to learning.

We want more for our students. We believe education is important. So are our teachers. Treat them so.

– The News

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Farewell to former Surrey school trustees
 
Cold paws, warm hearts
 
Surrey boy, 3, struck and abandoned
Christmas, back in the old days
 
Diesel stays stubbornly high amid crude oil drop
 
Cloverdale Arena turns into winter wonderland
Large tree taken down in 7 hours
 
Carnarvon Street businesses and residents complain of abuse
 
St. Nick visits the sick