Too much money going to teachers

Too much money going to teachers

Are our tax dollars properly being allocated to the operation of our local school district?

Too much money going to teachers

Are our tax dollars properly being allocated to the operation of our local school district?

Why? On James Street, the fence hedging next to the school parking lot is in need of trimming as the hedge is starting to take over the sidewalk. The parking lot painted white lines are in need of a repaint along with the numbering of the parking spaces. The same applies at the back of the school where the buses come in. All of the yellow lines are in need of a repaint. Under the bleachers by the running track, is shrubbery growth that needs to be cleaned out. In this day and age, surely something can be applied to stop this giant weed growth.

I also find it amazing that if you take a drive past the Lake Cowichan Secondary School, the outside grounds are maintained just like Butchart Gardens. The outside grounds in the Duncan school look like a bombed out area of Iraq. Both schools in the same school district but questionable on the grounds maintenance. Both of these situations at the Duncan school should be maintained on a yearly schedule. This is just part of the regular maintenance program.

Could it be that too much emphasis is put into teacher salaries, employee wages, and benefits? From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019 total wage increase for teacher wages is 5.5 per cent. Come July 1, 2018 a children’s support coordinator is paid $28.71 per hour with 100 per cent paid benefits. The starting union rate of pay for a sawmill labourer is presently at $29.48 per hour, jobs that you could get injured in.

I was surprised to see that on call teachers are paid mileage for using their car to come to work. Does your employer pay you mileage to go to work? Also teachers who have their car damaged on school property are given a maximum of $600 above and beyond their ICBC insurance claim. Teachers whose personal property left on the school premises are also given a maximum of $200 in regards to the stolen goods. The amounts are minor because there are not too many claims, but it is the principle of it when spending taxpayer dollars. What do these items belong in their benefit package for?

When you think of it, in the school budget, 90 per cent of the school budget goes toward salaries, wages, and benefits. Is that why we have schools, to pay employees top notch salaries? Also school teachers with one to three years service receive accrued vacation pay at 6.5 per cent. Goes up to 6.75 per cent in year four. Just about every other union contract in B.C. pays four per cent, for the same number of years.

If a school teacher is summoned for jury duty, they are still paid in full by the local school board, in return signing over the payment they receive for jury duty. Jury duty pays $20 per day. Taxpayers pay $300 per day for an absent teacher, while the teacher pays the taxpayer back with $20. Besides that, an on call teacher is called in while the regular teacher is away on jury duty. There is no law stating that an employer must pay their employee’s full wages when the employee is away on jury duty.

Are students now considered number two in the school system after school board employees? Why does school board management throw in extra bells and whistles in union contracts subsidized by the taxpayers. Unbelievable!

Joe Sawchuk

Duncan