LETTER: Defining ‘fair’

The teachers have adopted the slogan “fair deal” to sell the public on the idea that a raise in teachers’ wages is fair and deserved...

The teachers have adopted the slogan “fair deal” in their campaign to sell the public on the idea that a raise in teachers’ wages is fair and deserved.

The government’s response has been a campaign to convince the public that the teachers’ demands are unreasonable and unfair.

Apparently both sides have decided that facts are overrated and that what is important is winning the public relations campaign to woo the public to their side. Sadly, the public’s behaviour suggests that it is PR that is important and facts are of little interest or use.

When you attach “fair” to something that represents your point of view, you have attached “fair” to something biased to your point of view.

When “fair” is part of a pitch to sell your point of view to the public and use the public to force the government to give in, you are using the term “fair” to convey – or serving to convey – an impression your point of view is “fair.”

Ask yourself the question: Is it fair, for purposes of salary and benefits negotiation, to compare B.C. teachers’ salaries to teachers’ salaries in other provinces? If a B.C. teacher wants to make the salary of an Alberta teacher, let them do as other professionals seeking the same wages as Alberta professionals – move to Alberta.

The fact is that when you use the wages and economic health of those who pay the wages and benefits of teachers to determine “fair,” the inescapable conclusion one arrives at is that a fair salary for teachers (and other government employees and politicians) requires salary and benefits to be cut.

James W. Breckenridge

Abbotsford