For more than 40 years I served in the teaching profession at all levels from elementary grades to doctoral students.
Several realities trouble me about the current B.C. teachers’ crisis.
First, it’s profoundly incongruous when the provincial employer begins allegedly serious negotiations by declaring there will be zero net salary increase. Governmental credibility is further weakened in that it and its agencies repeatedly award huge increases to the top public servants and give them embarrassingly large severance golden handshakes.
Second, I am critical of teachers for asserting that issuing report cards is not part of core teaching responsibilities.
Students need official feedback, not some unofficial comments made to those parents who happen to have the time to go to school.
Third, it’s almost humorous, to see the BCTF spokespeople pressing for parity with Alberta teachers. For decades, the BCTF has campaigned enthusiastically for the defeat of free enterprise political parties and for the election of the democratic socialist NDP.
In B.C., when the BCTF-supported NDP came to office in the 1990s, that party mismanaged the economy so badly that B.C., equally endowed with vast natural resources, actually lurched to becoming a have-not province. Under the subsequent Liberal government, despite its own huge policy problems, the B.C. economy has recovered but only partially.
In sum, one reason why the B.C. economy cannot afford parity in teacher pay with Alberta is that with the support of the BCTF, the previous NDP government seriously weakened the B.C. economy.
John H. Redekop