Start with the students

I am so tired of hearing about teachers saying they are getting the raw end of the deal.

I am so tired of hearing about teachers saying they are getting the raw end of the deal.

Let’s talk money first. I have two school children, so I have come to know many teachers, and there is not one that doesn’t drive a good car or two, live in a decent house, enjoy vacations both nationally and internationally and generally enjoy life.

Why, in a struggling economy, do you need to ask for more money now? Why, when minimum wage has sat at an unacceptably low value for too many years, do you as the higher income group ask for more money? That in my opinion, is greed.

Let’s talk class size. Sure the class sizes suck and all the disadvantages that comes with that, and I agree those things need to be addressed. So why, when kids are already disadvantaged as you say, are you willing to exacerbate that by possible further job action of refusing to teach them? That is just lack of due care for your students that you profess to be advocating for.

And then there is bereavement leave – 10 days for any friend or relative, really, any friend? Ten days off work for a friend is outrageous.

I don’t profess to know too much about teachers’ salaries and collective agreements, but the BCTF does indicate a June 2010 teachers’ grid which ranges from $42,802 to $81,488. Times are tough here in Canada and the world over. No disrespect intended, but what makes teachers more special than any other sector of the working force to demand higher wages?

What really irks me is the fact that teachers could reach a phase in the strike where they won’t teach. We pay school fees, it is not free, and you would dare to withdraw an essential service?  A service to children no less, that have no voice in this!

Perhaps the roles should be reversed and children should form a union for better class room conditions, affordable lunches and so on.

I firmly believe teachers don’t have terrible working conditions, live relatively well for our times; perhaps having to tighten the financial belt, but join the rest of us. Perhaps just once teachers could tackle one really important issue at a time, starting with the ones that are really getting the short end of the stick – the students.

L. Bond

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