Government responsible for teachers’ strike

Mesachie Lake – I am amazed at the number of people I hear blaming the teachers for the current labour dispute. Have they been living on a windswept crag? Surely atop even the most remote peak they can now get a Wi-Fi connection? Every news media has reported over the last year how the BCTF went to court and proved that the B.C. government has spent the last dozen years violating the workload language they agreed to in collective bargaining. The teachers gave up wage increases for smaller class sizes and the government broke their promise. Now, despite the ruling of the court, Minister Fassbender and his co-conspirators are refusing to correct their wrongdoing.

Should we be surprised? When the Hospital Employees Union bargained workload language the government ignored it. When they bargained contracting out language that was ignored as well. The courts ruled that the violations of the HEU collective agreement were illegal, but that is small comfort to those workers who never got their jobs back.

Go to a hospital today and see if the washrooms are as clean as they were before Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark urinated on a signed contract. Is it only a coincidence that since the privatization of hospital cleanliness that the rates of c difficile and other infections have become epidemic? The Liberal government have applied the same labour relations methods to our public school system as well. How should we expect this to work? The teachers are standing up for themselves, but they are also standing up for our children. We need to support their demand for smaller class sizes, so that every child can get the attention he or she needs to learn. We can’t all afford $1,500 a month per child for a private school with a reasonable teacher/student ratio. We need to let this government know that they are not fooling the taxpayer.

The office number for Education Minister Fassbender is 250-387-1977. Let him know that he will be held personally responsible. Premier Clark has an office number as well. She can be reached at 250-387-1715. Her email is premier@gov.bc.ca When you call, please remember that the person who answers the phone is a working person doing their job. Be polite.

David Lowther

Mesachie Lake