Teachers sacrificed for teaching conditions

Elementary teachers in British Columbia have the least amount of preparation time nation wide.

Elementary teachers in British Columbia have the least amount of preparation time nationwide.

Teachers in B.C. are among the lowest paid in the country.  In Sooke School District, teachers have one of the lowest district funding levels for our professional development. And as teachers, we have no one but ourselves to blame.

Over several decades, and through many rounds of collective bargaining, teachers everywhere in B.C. have routinely put aside personal gain, and improvements in benefits and working conditions, in favour of learning conditions.

In the case of Sooke Teachers, we sacrificed improvements in pro-D funding at the bargaining table in 1998, in favour of reduced class sizes for our primary students, and to secure appropriate ratios of our specialist support teachers.

In 2002, the government passed legislation that summarily eradicated articles in our collective agreement that governed class size and composition, and introduced bills that created larger class sizes, and removed all guaranteed ratios of specialist teachers, such as counselors, learning assistance, and integration support teachers, for students with special needs.

In 2003, the International Labour Organization concluded the B.C. government legislation had violated international conventions, to which Canada is a signatory.  In 2011, the BC Supreme Court ruled the legislation had violated teachers’ Charter rights.

In 2006, a convicted, drunk-driving premier declared his respect for the rule of law by saying that there is “no excuse to break the law and show such flagrant contempt for the courts of British Columbia.”

Last week, when Premier Christy Clark introduced Bill 22, which will create even more over-sized classes, and remove any hope for more specialist support teachers, as well as obliterating protections for working conditions, all we heard was “the courts of British Columbia be damned, we’ll get your union, and your little dog, too.”

We’re definitely not in Kansas any more.

Patrick Henry

President

Sooke Teachers Association

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation looks to grow funding for memory garden

Foundation will start new campaign next month as it wraps up recruitment campaign

Survey says 27% of Victoria employers look to hire this quarter

Another 13 % of employers anticipate cutbacks

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Most Read