LETTER: It’s time for us to stop being held hostage by unions

The Editor,

The public voted for an administration that has decided to try to live within the means of the taxpayers: to not raise taxes, the only way a government can obtain money to run schools or pay teachers’ salaries.

Who is this interloper, the teachers’ union, to get in between the voters and the government that the people elected?

Indeed, for the teachers – or any government employee – to strike against the government is fundamentally antidemocratic. They, in effect, are not striking against the government, but against the people who elected the government. In short, they are saying very clearly that they have no respect for the democratic process.

Maybe it is time to consider a radical new idea of government education – that the government become a leasing agent of the schools they already own, and primarily a regulator of education provided by independent or private educational institutions. There are many organizations (religious, social, for example) or private companies that are providing education superior to government schools.

I’d suggest each family receive a voucher for each school-age child, to be used at whatever school the family chooses. That way, families that are pro-union could go to a unionized-teacher school (and put up with their constant "job actions"); others would then be able to afford to go to a nonunion private or religious school.

It is time for the people of B.C. to stop being held hostage by unions that are fundamentally contra-democratic, that have no respect for the collective will of the people of the province.

If the voters want to give all their money to a government to pay more to government employees (who already get paid, on average, more than the typical taxpayer) they will elect that kind of government.

Paul M. Bowman, Aldergrove