Tax money

Taxpayers should be concerned at how government spends their money

HOWEVER the teachers’ strike/lockout is resolved, there are a couple of monetary issues, one directly and one indirectly (perhaps) which should concern taxpayers.

The first is the offer by the province of a $1,200 per teacher signing bonus had a contract been reached by the end of June.

If this was an attempt by the province to divide teachers, it didn’t work and teachers have upped the ante by asking for $5,000.

In other circles a bonus is based on performance. Is there such a connection here?

The second issue is an add-on to collective agreements recently ratified by school districts and their Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) workers. It states CUPE members will be compensated for wages lost by not crossing legal teachers’ picket lines during the dispute. In the Coast Mountains School District alone, that bill is $500,000 and rising and across the province, could amount to $5 million a day.

This looks to be an attempt by the province to further isolate teachers by signing a deal with another public school union. The more the province can portray teachers as being unrealistic, the better its case in the court of public opinion.

But having the province use tax money to pay people who are not working is another matter altogether.

Teacher issues aside, there appears to be a lot wrong in how public sector wages are negotiated.

Editorial, The Terrace Standard, Sept. 10, 2014