Letters to the Editor

Letter: Questions for the BCTF and B.C. government

To the editor:

Teachers must perform very difficult and intricate tasks every day. I have said, more than once, that teaching is a noble profession.

I’ve also made it very clear that I do not support the government, nor do I support the BCTF. I support teachers. In this regard, I wonder if any BCTF members could answer a few questions for me:

Referring to the BC Teachers Federation bargaining proposal number U64, dated June 3, 2014: Why have the demands for prep time not been published? The BCTF are proposing 180 minutes per week for elementary school teachers by 2016. That is double what they get now. For secondary teachers, they are asking for an additional one day of prep time per week on top of the 12.5 per cent they get now.

If my math is correct, one day equals 20 per cent. This adds up to a total of 32.5 per cent prep time. Could you please explain to me why this is reasonable?

And I suppose I could ask, facetiously perhaps, when will prep-time negotiations stop, when they reach 100 per cent?

What exactly are the differences between the stage one job action and the lockout? I know that they differed by 15 minutes on the beginning and end of each day. But other than that, I can’t see the difference. Could you explain?

Could you point me to the document that states that the WCB would not cover you in the event of an accident on a field trip? I have seen something to this effect, but it was not completely clear.

Did BCTF members know that their bargaining team were going to demand a $5,000 signing bonus? Do BCTF members really believe this is realistic?

Following are some questions I am sending to Christie Clark:

Why has your government been underfunding education for at least the last 14 years?

Why did your government strip the BCTF contract in 2002 and then continue to appeal the decisions of two courts?

Why does your government continue to churn out new curriculum with new vocabulary which is really re-hashing that which already exists?

Why does our education system continue to throw all special needs students into the mainstream with certified education assistants who are not adequately trained to meet these students’ needs? Why have we done away with the resource room idea to meet the special needs of these students?

Why do we not have specialist teachers in every school?

Why do we not have full time teacher-librarians in every school?

Why do we not have full-time learning-assistance teachers in every school?

Why is there not an initiative to help teachers deal with the undesignated students in their classes who take up most of their time?

Why do we not have full-time head custodians in every school?

For the sake of all teachers and students, I sincerely hope this on-going fiasco is cleared up soon.

Richard Knight,



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