An open letter to:
Minister of Education,
Province of British Columbia
I have to say as both a taxpayer and a teacher, I am appalled at your government’s complete lack of honour and untrustworthiness. Since February of 2013, we (I use the term “we” because I am the BC Teachers’ Federation) have tried to negotiate a fair settlement.
When Mr. Vince Ready walked away from both parties on Saturday Aug. 30, it became exceedingly clear that at no point in the year and a half was there ever any intention of honest bargaining.
I teach Law 12, and happen to know a thing or two about both the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Rule of Law. You see, despite your assertion the teachers are the one’s keeping children out of school, it is you and your team who believe they are above the law and keeping children and teachers out of classes.
You are not above the law. Twice the courts have ruled it and knowing full well that will be the third call, your bargaining agent is trying desperately to work in a clause that would allow you to rip up any collective agreement or ruling that deal with class size and composition matters.
Negotiation is defined as give and take. Not take and take. Your government is very good at taking, but it is also your responsibility, as an adult, when you make a mistake to right that wrong.
As a teacher with over twenty-five years experience, your government’s behaviour is akin to a bullying child’s. You are stronger but have been proven wrong.
Instead of continuing with your desperate strong-arm tactics and not truly negotiating why not do the right thing? Take all preconditions off the table, put some money into class size and composition, offer a cost of living wage increase that doesn’t include any 0 per cent for the last three years or for this year and settle this matter.
Your current actions have really worked up the citizens of BC and most no longer trust your ongoing lies and spin; public opinion is clearly on side with the teachers on this one. I think you would find, despite your clear agenda to ruin public education in BC, you might regain some of the respect you have lost.
I realize my request will most likely not be heard, but I felt I must try. As the grand daughter of a First World War soldier, I feel it is important to speak up and try to protect the rights and freedoms he fought to ensure I would have.
Greer Kaiser, Terrace, B.C.