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.)



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