The BCTF is an effective scapegoat to manipulate public opinion and deflect attention from the root cause of our public education fiasco which goes back to 2001 when the Liberals introduced huge tax cuts for corporations and upper income earners, with a promise of no loss of public services.
We soon after saw cuts to these services to restore government revenue. It is not surprising the government refuses to reinstate education funding it took to pay for tax cuts.
Personal income tax cuts, service cuts and regressive taxes since 2001 leave middle- and low-income earners financially worse off. Therefore the government’s assertion it must protect taxpayers from teachers’ unaffordable demands is all self-serving rhetoric.
The present crisis was not caused by the BCTF’s unreasonable demands as the government would have us believe. In the past 12 years, the Liberals have slowly starved and dismantled public education, taking from students. This goes far beyond a labour dispute. An assault on public education is an assault on us all. When my daughter’s class size increased she reported her teacher no longer had time for her.
The Liberals’ tax cuts have impacted us all in vital areas such as education, health care and transportation. Trying to run areas of public need like a business is costly and ineffective, as witnessed by the recent BC Ferry debacle to the tune of two billion dollars.
This ideologically driven government has more to gain by prolonging the strike, breaking the union and winning the propaganda war. Its pretense of caring about students, public education and taxpayers is self-serving for public support. Perhaps loss of public support will be the only incentive to restore funding and reopen our schools before the human cost is too great.
School support worker