So, shockingly, the BCTF has decided to initiate a job action and withhold services for three days this week. This is referred to as a job action because the words strike or holding students futures hostage or acting like playground bullies don't play nearly as well for the media, but make no mistake all three of those descriptions are more accurate than a job action. In fact what we have is a job inaction.
The teacher's union would have you believe that this strike is about:
1) The evil Liberal government . It should be noted that the evil Liberal Government is having no less success in dealing with the BCTF than previous NDP and Social Credit governments have had over the past 40+ years.
2) Improved working conditions
3) Class size
4) Children's futures
In fact this strike is about money, specifically the 15% increase over three years that the BCTF has refused to budge on since June of 2011. I will guarantee you that if the government said tomorrow: "Class sizes are staying the same, no more cash is going into special needs, portable use is increasing but we're fine with the 15% raise" that the poor oppressed teachers would break their ankles running back to work.
There is some comedy here though, despite a ban on picket lines teachers were protesting outside schools but because they were carrying their signs and not wearing them around their necks the teacher's felt they were not in violation of the no picket line rulings. Hopefully all these teachers are Semantics instructors.........or just idiots.
The job action and the government's refusal to rush back to work legislation has lead for some confusion among the opposition ranks as well. Last week, the NDP Opposition promised to delay the passage of the back-to-work legislation as long as possible, with plans to speak up to 17 hours on the second reading of the bill alone. However when the Liberals didn't call an emergency weekend sitting this lead NDP house leader John Horgan to criticize the government for their inaction, stating: "I would have thought that if the government was serious about getting kids back in the classroom they would have taken action before now,"
So what is it you really wanted John, for the Liberals to try and rush through a bill so that you could delay it ?
I used to have a great deal of respect for teachers until daughter entered the public school system, since almost day one she has been bombarded with union rhetoric while the poor teachers work 184 days a year. Among the great teacher rhetoric is that they don't get paid for the nine weeks off in the summer, true but the salary isn't prorated either and the average salary for teacher in Vancouver in 2011 was $73,792 ............ for a 43 week year with 20 non working days in it. The other great line that teachers use is the disparity between wages in BC and Alberta, to which I would reply that they are welcome to move to Alberta if they would like that pay raise. The whole situation is a farce, with an over politicized union throwing their weight around and the students, as always, are the ones who suffer .