Education, medical costs unsustainable

To the Editor,

Re: Students take frustrations to VIU board, March 26.

I do not support the faculty association’s strike. There has to be a better way for the faculty to allow the students to complete their school year, have their valid concerns heard and take some time to understand what the situation is in the real world outside of academia.

We all would like to have jobs where we have a guaranteed position for life (regardless of performance), where we get a good, continuous salary, where we get very generous time off from work for holidays, etc., where we could retire early with a comfortable pension and comprehensive benefits.

Unfortunately, in the real world outside of the civil service or medical and educational systems, which are paid for by the taxpayers, guaranteed jobs are unheard of, continuous employment is often the exception, company pensions are a distant memory as we have to manage our own retirement funding and we have to take care of our own benefit plans on retirement and often before.

We work when the opportunity is there, as tomorrow it may not be.

The medical and education systems constitute the largest part of our provincial budget. With the current rate of increase in the costs, by the year 2017, the entire provincial budget will be consumed by medical and education alone.

There will be no funding for any other provincial expenditure, be it roads, infrastructure, parks, homeless or whatever.

If we increase the expenditure for our universities and our school system, as they too are ringing the bells for significant pay increases, we can expect to have the total provincial budget consumed by medical and education prior to 2017, possibly as early as 2015. That is four years from now.

The only alternative is to increase our taxes significantly and most likely continuously. Some tax increase is probably inevitable, but sooner or later these two services will kill the goose that laid the golden egg, much like the current situation in Great Britain.

I for one don’t want that inevitability.

Pat Sali


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