Teacher pay cuts a bad move

Letter to the editor from school trustee on cutting teachers' salaries during job action

It’s unfortunate that the public perception is that teachers and support staff work 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, and get spring and Christmas breaks and summer holidays off.

However, many of our staff work close to 50 hours per week during the school year – that doesn’t count the many countless hours that they spend volunteering for extra-curricular activities and community events, and doing job prep.

When I was informed yesterday that our staff in the Greater Victoria School District had received a 10-per-cent cut in their paycheques, I was outraged and disgusted.

Since both the BCTF and BCPSEA are awaiting for the ruling from the Labour Relations Board, I felt that the pay deduction was premature. Yes I am a School Trustee and BCPSEA represents us at the bargaining table.  However, I absolutely do not agree with the province’s tactics or their definition of “bargaining in good faith”!

Should the LRB rule in favour of the BCTF, our already overworked school district staff (yes, they too put in many long hours as they work in the same underfunded public system) will have to adjust everyone’s paycheque the following pay period.

If the Premier and Education Minister really cared about our students, they would think twice before making impulsive decisions that will have long-term consequences in an already volatile environment!

Edith Loring-Kuhanga

Greater Victoria school trustee

 

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