LETTER: Teachers dealing with a government that dismisses rule of law

Teachers do not take strike action lightly, and strike is about standing up for students, says reader

Re: Year-end teachers strike hurts kids, News, June 18

In response to your article, “Year-end strike-not about the kids,” I take exception to your comments.

This article suggests that teachers are being unethical by “exerting maximum pressure” on the government and this impacts students negatively.

Teachers do not take strike action lightly, but they are facing a government that has consistently breached both constitutional and international laws designed to protect workers’ collective bargaining rights. The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that this government has stripped away the teachers rights to bargain class size composition and even strategized to push teachers toward a strike.

When faced with a government that does not negotiate in good faith, after months of negotiations, the last resort is to go on a full scale strike.

I work in the school system and my son is in Grade 12. Sure, there were a few inconveniences and my son may have to wait for his marks. It is a small price to pay in support of what teachers do in the classroom for my child everyday. It is time to look at the bigger picture. There is something wrong with this, so-called democracy, when unions are not able to negotiate working conditions (class size composition).  Also, providing better working condition means students get a better education.

There is no “self serving spitting contest” as you state. Teachers are trying to have a voice and stand up for the rights of students. They are facing a government that chooses to ignore the law. I shudder to think that if class size composition is left in the hands of this current government, what will become of public education. When making decisions based solely on the bottom line school children will definitely pay the price. By the way, who is responsible for docking government’s outrageous wages when they fail to do their job?

Adele O’Neill

Saanich

 

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