Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teachers strike: Everyone’s a Loser

I was trying to bite my tongue on the subject of the teachers strike but it’s just so upsetting. Both sides are wrong and the kids are the ones who suffer. Just like in a bad divorce. I really get upset when I see teachers with signs that say think of the kids or smaller classes matter.

Education does matter. Kids matter. Screwing up their education every couple years with work to rule or strikes screws up their education. You’re only in school once. You only graduate once. The selfishness and the dishonesty is infuriating. So does that mean you are willing to take a zero percent wage increase if they reduce class size? I think not. For the first time in my life I have an uncontrollable urge to yell out Go back to work when I see teachers on the picket line this time.

The Liberal government is no better. Persistent lies to the media. Knowingly breaking court orders. If you legislate someone back to work you have to get a fair arbitrator. Not a loaded deck. OK so the teachers want another raise. Who’s going to pay for it? The taxpayers. Clearly the fiscal mismanagement of the Liberal government isn’t helping. If they didn’t screw up BC Hydro there would be plenty on money for teachers.

Think about it. In Christy Clark’s fudge it budget she claimed that she anticipated extracting a dividend from BC Hydro to balance the budget. That claim was fraud knowing full well after Gordon Campbell privatized the power brokers that sell power to the public company at above market rates they created a perpetual ballooning deficit that is about to swallow taxpayers whole. Yet if they hadn’t privatized the power brokers that sell power to BC Hydro at above market rates, they would have been able to extract a dividend to balance the budget. That would have been good business.

Instead they took that tax revenue away from the people and put it into the hands of private corporations that contribute to their political campaigns. That isn’t just bad business, it is a criminal act. If we fixed BC Hydro and got rid of Gordon Campbell’s insider trading power brokers that are ripping off taxpayers at an astonishing rate, we’d have plenty of money for teachers and a balanced budget as well. Imagine that. In the Greek financial crisis what was public money became private money then disappeared. Just like BC Rail.


  1. There is no accountability for politicians who lie.

    If there were serious ramifications for lying then we would see far fewer incidents of politicians lying. However, they know they can get away with it and if they are caught they are trained (yes, trained - it begins in university through various courses that are taken - of course they call it by various terms like "public relations" but the true essence of it is lying, how to lie, how to counter damage done, etc.). Political parties hire various "advisors" and "consultants" who are specialists in this.

    Until the laws change, the politicians will continue to lie as merely a matter of course.

    it is like police officers who read a person their rights which clearly state "anything that you say can and will be used against you" and then ask you questions. ?! They just told you if you say ANYTHING it WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. Hello.

    Yet, that is how they acquire most convictions - through people saying things.

    Criminal organizations - like politicians being trained how to lie - train their members. This is one of the reasons groups like the HA are so hard to convict.

    As for the teachers' strike - as an educator myself, I can assure you if the government actually stated 0% salary increase over x number of years but we will ensure classrooms are capped at a maximum of 16 students the teachers would take the agreement. Most would be willing to take a pay cut for those numbers.

    Not only that they would be insane not to take a PAY CUT for class sizes like that.

    Some classrooms see 38 students and one teacher.

    It's not 38 students who are at that grade level. For instance, a grade 4 classroom today will not be comprised of all grade level students and one or two who are slightly lower but you will have Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3 and 3.5 grade level students all in one classroom. (Note I did not list anyone at actual grade level - because they are not at actual grade level anymore).

    Students' levels have been getting steadily lower over the past decades. 30 years ago a book that would be read in grade 6 or 7 is now read in grade 12. Why? For the reason students at the middle grades level cannot comprehend the work. Their literacy levels are that poor today. That is a fact.

  2. "..So does that mean you are willing to take a zero percent wage increase if they reduce class size? I think not. For the first time in my life I have an uncontrollable urge to yell out Go back to work when I see teachers on the picket line this time. .."

    The BCTF had successfully negotiated, in good faith, class size and composition in their contract prior 2001 and I don’t remember anybody having a problem with it then.
    The Government passed legislation and imposed Bill 28 in 2001, which ripped up their contract and imposed settlement. They eliminated the class size provision with 0 increases the first two years. This Government needs to be taken to task for its ham-fisted confrontational approach to the collective bargaining process which seems to be the foundation to any negotiations with them.

  3. I totally agree the BC Liberals have done some dirty deeds with regards to throwing out contracts and ignoring court orders. It's just that I no longer trust the BCTF. At all. What most teachers want and what the BCTF want are two different things and the kids are the ones who are suffering as a result. In High School class size matters but it's not really a big deal. In University class sizes are huge.


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