Letter: Teachers, gov’t negotiate like little children

Both sides in teachers' dispute have to get down to work and negotiate like adults.

To the editor:

I am writing to convey my concern about the public education system and the need to resolve the current labour dispute by this government putting adequate resources into our young people.

The government spin is not covering the facts. B.C. has one of the lowest funded education systems in Canada yet one of the highest poverty rates. Do you think this could be a correlation?

Government continuously says it has no money but it continues to spend large sums, just choosing not to put it back into public education. Just the amount spent on courts to fight a battle in which the courts already twice have decided against the government would go a long way towards improving public education. As well it would free up time in an already overcrowded legal system.

This whole process, I think, is setting such a poor example for our children. It’s like kids who had a dispute and one sibling called the other out. The child then went to mom for validation of his opinion. When she said no, he went to dad and got the same answer. Instead of facing up and taking some responsibility the child is now waiting for gramma and grampa to come from overseas to provide validation.

Is this what the government wants to be teaching our future generations?

As a taxpayer I sure don’t.

Money could also be redirected into the public education system by decreasing the number of post secondary seats for teacher education, at least until the surplus of teachers lessens. B.C. spends huge dollars on educating teachers but few can get jobs at home so other provinces reap the benefits. Many teachers leave the profession early in their careers even if they have managed to teach in B.C.

Perhaps spending on better learning and working conditions would help with the attrition. Worth a try, don’t you think?

Furthermore, money could be redirected from funding private education into the public education system. I agree people have a choice in a democracy to send their kids where they want for schooling. It is not up to us as taxpayers to fund this, though, unless there are enough resources to fund the public education system too—that should be our first responsibility.

I could go on but so could the government in looking for ways to properly fund public education. Our children are finished with school but our grandchildren are only approaching this privilege. Please do all you can to ensure that experience is what all children deserve. Our future generations are worth it.

Negotiating is two sides coming together to ‘bargain hard’ with give and take on both sides. This includes agreeing to mediation facilitated by a respected and proven mediator, not one side publicly saying that their offer is “as good as it’s going to get.”

Get to work!

Wendy Holly,



Kelowna Capital News