LETTER: B.C.’s teachers are holding out with students in mind

The Editor,

When I read letters to the editor from people calling the teachers greedy, I get angry. The public is not being informed of the facts, and for that I blame the teachers’ union. The BCTF should do a better job of telling the public what is going on.

For many years, our teachers took lesser wages at the bargaining table so they could secure items like guaranteed class sizes and special needs teachers. Then, in 2002, Education Minister Christy Clark tore up those fairly negotiated contracts, an act which the courts have twice ruled as unlawful.

Yet, the Clark government is appealing for a third time at a very high cost in taxpayer dollars, including recently hiring one of Canada’s most expensive lawyers.

The BCTF should tell the B.C. government to settle the legal issues before coming to the bargaining table so that they can negotiate a contract in good faith.

In the current negotiations, the government is wanting to deal with issues that were ratified in previous contracts in addition to wages, so it seems that both sides are very far apart.

The province and the BCTF are actually very close in wage talks, even though this would still not bring our teachers in line with other provinces.

And for those that think the teachers are being greedy, I have news for them: the teachers are holding out for what is best for students, and will never make up for what they have lost in wages during the current strike action, no matter how much they end up getting in a contract settlement.

Don Hunt, Delta