Rhetoric won’t end job action

The first volley has been shot in what had been little more than a simmering cold war for the last six months.

The first volley has been shot over the bow of the provincial government this week in what had been little more than a simmering cold war for the last six months.

The three-day teachers’ strike has been the talk of the town, though there seems to be little to no talking going on between the two sides.

With legislation forcing the teachers to work all but one day a week, it seems the government now has the upper hand in the skirmish.  Both sides have been waging intense public relations campaigns for the hearts and minds of British Columbians. But as is said about any war, the first casualty is the truth.

The rhetoric making the rounds has done little to accurately portray the reality of the situation facing our schools.

The biggest gripe against teachers is the claim they’re demanding a massive wage hike and are unwilling to budge an inch.

However, B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert told the News that the well-publicized demand for a 15-per-cent raise is a “red herring.” The number is up for negotiation, though Lambert was adamant that whatever the “real” number other than 15 turns out to be is something that will only be hammered out at the table. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education sent out a “fact sheet” on Sunday to bust some of the “myths” being spread about the state of B.C.’s school system.

One curious statement suggests increasing teachers’ wages will cost taxpayers $2 billion.

The math must get a little complicated as the entire budget for B.C. schools is less than $4 billion. Even if teachers’ salaries make up half the budget, a 15-per-cent wage hike won’t directly add up to $2 billion.

Right now, the true cost of this labour dispute are being borne by parents and kids who should be in school. Money being spent on alternative child care is cash that’s not being spent on other sectors of the economy.

How the lost time in class will affect students might never be known. What we do know is that, in this fight, the province has the bigger guns and will eventually allow the government to give teachers “a deal they can’t refuse.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor Ben Isitt

Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

Hockey royalty Hayley Wickenheiser skates into Sidney this spring

Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada’s greatest women’s hockey player, to speak March 26

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Oak Bay council looks to whittle down tax increase from 8.05 per cent

Draft financial plan continues hyper-focus on replacing aging infrastructure

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read