A line in the school sand

Editor:

Re: Teachers paid to do entire job, Oct. 13 letters.

Editor:

Re: Teachers paid to do entire job, Oct. 13 letters.

In reading the letter from Karen Bodenheimer, it was evident the writer is unfamiliar with the issues and impact of the teachers dispute.

Teachers have withdrawn some administrative or non-compensated extra tasks that are not essential or part of the job-description function.

With regards to “little Johnny” and classroom issues, parents can still communicate with their teachers. The fact is, many parents – as demonstrated by poor attendance at parent/teacher nights – don’t seem to care or be concerned.

Incidentally, teachers are not paid to host these nights. The same goes for extracurricular activities. Teachers do this of their own volition, not as a requirement of the contract, and without compensation.

Most labour unions would not allow their members to perform activities without compensation. Teachers have been an exception to that philosophy since they organized.

While teachers are not submitting marks for report cards, parents may access their child’s marks online or by communicating with teachers.

What many fail to realize is marking is not done during the school day. Many a teacher spends their Saturday or Sunday having to mark dozens of tests. If a child needs assistance or there are behavioural issues, teachers are still communicating with parents.

Another myth is that teachers have summer off and are paid. Teachers are not compensated from school closing in June until school startup in September. How many readers can manage without a paycheque for 10 weeks?

While our province may be one of the richest, B.C. teachers are amongst the lowest paid. They have had no increase for years. Instead the government simply ignores and threatens teachers, preys on public ignorance on the subject and breaks or imposes contracts. Unfortunately, the government has tried to deflect criticism of its own performance by painting teachers and its union as the bad guys that must be crushed.

Public and media lack of factual knowledge do not help matters.

I suggest Bodenheimer spend a week with a teacher managing oversized classes, communicating with parents and marking endless assignments in the evening. She might better understand where teachers are coming from.

Steve Morris, Surrey

• • •

Re: Educational reality, Oct. 25 letters.

I am pretty sick of hearing the teachers complain about their jobs.

They knew what they where getting into before they even started.

It has been 25 years since I attended high school and even then there were portables and 30-plus students per classroom. So, unless these teachers complaining had their head in the sand, I have no idea why they are complaining now.

Since Finland was mentioned, and how well they are educated, look at the ratios. Administration versus students – here, like the U.S. – for every dollar of tax for education, 10 per cent goes to the student and 90 per cent to administration.

Finland, the gap is much closer.

Now, if the government was able to reduce the salaries of public servants – who should have no union, since they are paid by the taxpayers – and not be held hostage by the unions, the payroll could be cut in half and the monies put back into the students and more specialists.

If teachers are told to do a job and they refuse, fire them. They can be replaced. You are a public servant. You are there to educate our children. When my bosses overwhelm me with projects, I do them. If I refused, even if I had to do other people’s jobs, they would fire me, no question.

I’m so glad to see the government taking a stand against the union. We elected this government, and you, public servants, should listen to what your bosses are telling you to do.

Chris Gardner, Surrey

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two women walk past ‘The Meeting’ sculptures in White Rock’s Miramar Plaza Wednesday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
New public art in White Rock draws criticism as the ‘two Michaels’ remain in China’s custody

‘I would encourage people to go out and enjoy it’ said Vancouver Biennale founder

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read