EDITORIAL: Teachers must be realistic

Teachers are approaching contract talks from two perspectives at the same time.

We like teachers. We really do.

We get to deal with them a lot in this job and most are caring professionals, dedicated to helping their students learn. In an already demanding vocation, many go above and beyond to make a difference.

But — and you knew there had to be a but — their union leadership needs to seriously reassess its position in ongoing contract talks.

Teachers are approaching these talks from two perspectives at the same time.

The first is the ideological perspective — investing in policies that will improve learning outcomes, things like class size and composition.

The second is from the more typical workplace perspective of improving compensation — things like wages and benefits.

What they fail to understand is that they should consider themselves extremely fortunate to gain even tiny bit on either front.

As public-sector unions will be quick to tell you, this is a time of restraint. Expecting significant gains on both fronts will get teachers exactly where it has got them so far — nowhere.

This is a government that wants to find new ways to save money, not spend it, a government that thinks teachers are amply compensated already and a government that believes it, not the teachers’ union, is in charge of the education of B.C. children.

Local union rep Shellie Trimble talks about the government failing to meet the teachers halfway and she’s right.

The government is not interested in the traditional bargaining model of looking at the teachers’ proposal, then giving ground in some areas while gaining ground in others. The government is operating from an end position of, “This is the amount of money we are willing to spend; how do you want to divide it up?’ ”

The teachers’ union would be better off picking one horse to ride — the classroom would sell better than their wages — taking what it can get for a short term, and waiting for a more favourable government.

Their members would be happier and the wait might not be long.

Cowichan News Leader

 

Just Posted

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

Fanny Bay Challenge asks visitors to support businesses during highway closure

Community rallies as part of Highway 19A closes for six weeks due to culvert project

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Opinions vary about single-use plastics

Local governments in the Comox Valley are enacting bylaws to regulate single-use… Continue reading

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Most Read