Letter: Find a new way to settle union contracts

To the editor:

I am so sick of this whole strike/lockout situation.

I am a mother of four children—Grades 10, 8, 3, and kindergarten.

I have a great respect for teachers, most of them are caring individuals whom I entrust with my children every day. They have gone through, I believe, a minimum of four years post secondary education. They work a day job that has hours of work that work pretty good for family life.

I, on the other hand, work shift work, and do not have a lot of regularity in my life because of it.

I have Grade 12, but nothing further. Because of this, I encourage my kids to get a good education so they can have a good job and a good future.

I would never want them to be a teacher. Teachers have an education that got them a career teaching and inspiring our kids who are our future, but they are constantly being told they are not worth it, they are overpaid, they should do more. They have to fight for respect from their employer and are often told: ‘Sorry...do more with less.’

Although I support teachers in their bid to get better class composition, and better pay, (B.C. is one of the lowest paying provinces for teachers wages) they should not be discussing the issues with the kids in the classroom.

My 16-year-old daughter has missed the same block of classes on the last two days of the strike, and will now be missing a third block of the same classes, one of which is her Science 10 class, leading up to her provincial exam. How is this helping her, or the teachers cause? You would think the union that is planning these strikes would be considering the least harm to the students, but they are obviously not.

The only ones suffering from this situation are the students, parents and teachers. The strike is only beneficial to the B.C. government. They are saving money on the wages not being paid, as well as the gaining of support from frustrated parents.

Their contract was up almost a year ago. This should have been settled long ago, ideally before their previous contract expired. Our government is doing a really poor job at managing its contracts and resources to be dealing with this situation a year over due.

A new way of handling these contract negotiations needs to be found. Enough already.

Sheri Pybus,

West Kelowna


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