The lack of progress in negotiations between teachers and the provincial government is frustrating for many.

The lack of progress in negotiations between teachers and the provincial government is frustrating for many.

LETTERS: Consequences of class standoff


Re: Province eyes extending school year, Sept. 9.


Something positive coming out of the teachers strike is that everyone is talking about our education system.

Parents are looking at alternative ways to educate their children. Private schools have insane waiting lists. I’m sure that home schooling is being looked at more seriously by many parents, as well.

Teachers must be looking at what other form of employment there is out there besides teaching. Teachers must also be second guessing their union leadership. Why go on strike if your negotiating team takes two months off for summer holidays?

There is no indication negotiations are going anywhere. All we hear is that school will start again in October. What happens in October that will change anything?

If teachers are hoping to be legislated back to work with the package that the government has been offering from the start, why go on strike in the first place? Why not settle today and have school start tomorrow?

The government is handing out money to parents. That kind of thinking can easily be tweaked into giving parents vouchers to educate their children where and how they like; $40 per day works out to $8,000 per year.

At this time, teachers are not allowed by their union to tutor children, but as the strike drags on that unity will break. What teacher wouldn’t want to invite 10 children into their home for five hours per day and make $80,000 per year with way less headaches than they have to endure today?

As this strike lasts longer, more and more people will begin thinking outside the box and leaving the present public education system – parents and teachers alike. There are so many inventive ways to educate our children that are not being used today in our public system that it boggles the mind.

Here’s hoping that the positive result of this strike is that our education system will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

John Bootsma, White Rock

• • •

Re: Province eyes extending school year, Sept. 9.

In regards to your article about extending the class year, I feel that you did not fairly report both sides.

The one precondition – not “several” – is that the government drop E80. If you do just a little research, you will see that E80 definitely tilts negotiation in government’s favour. A former Crown prosecutor explained in simple language why no one in their right mind would want to agree to E80. It is the note at the end – “these provisions supersede and replace all previous Articles that addressed class size, composition and staffing levels” – which is the sticking point.

Since the government has lost in court twice already over this issue, they now want teachers to just sign away all the previous gains made that were deemed illegally stripped from their contract. So it is Education Minister Peter Fassbender, not the BCTF, who is giving empty words to the public. He does not want to negotiate. He wants to find a way not to lose another court battle.

The BCTF is within one per cent and one year on the wage issue – not at all out of line with the pay raises of other unions – yet Fassbender continues to hit this talking point, even though it is not truthful.

It is the government that wants to misinform the public. I wish the media would a) call him on this and b) not allow continued rhetoric reporting.

Also, you report that, increasingly, “teachers no longer drawing a regular paycheque… are advertising “tutor” services online.” It would be less biased to report teachers have not been drawing “any” paycheque.

It was also interesting and could be taken as insulting that you put “tutor” in quotation marks. This is usually used to indicate sarcasm. Is it Peace Arch News’ opinion that teachers would not be able to properly tutor children when they teach a whole class day in and day out?

Charles Jungclaus, Surrey

(Editor’s note: The reference to several preconditions was attributed to Fassbender; the quotation marks around “tutor” were to quote the word used in teacher’s online ads.)



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

Just Posted

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Canadian money (Black Press Media files)
Surrey, Burnaby residents to pay $141K for their part in U.S.-based Ponzi, pyramid scheme

B.C. Securities Commission says the two raised about US$15M from more than 1,400 investors

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

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

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read