Letters to the Editor

Union strikes aren't fair to taxpayers

To the Editor,

Re: No movement in teacher talks, June 17.

When will the unions wake up?

I am not against unions, but I am against public-sector unions. My problem with public-sector unions is all the people who are sideswiped by their strike action. If a grocery store goes on strike, what happens? The employer will lose business; the employees will lose wages and possibly jobs. Their customers can go to other grocery stores and life goes on. There is a real financial incentive for both parties to avoid a strike or to settle quickly.

When a public-sector union goes on strike we have a completely different situation. The general public has no alternatives as the union has a monopoly. The so-called employer here (the government) actually saves money with a strike. The employees lose wages and may lose jobs, but that’s highly unlikely. The employees think that eventually public pressure will force the government to settle. There is no financial incentive for either party to end the strike.

But what about the third party in these disputes, the general public? We are the ones who take the brunt of the strike but have no say in any of it. What about the kids who have fundraised all year for a special field trip, or the Grade 12 student who will miss exams?

I pay my taxes to receive a service, whether it be teaching my children, protecting my house from a fire or getting my road cleared of snow. When a public-sector union goes on strike, all taxpayers should get a partial refund of taxes paid for services not rendered.

The unions claim to want a ‘fair deal.’ I say it’s time to find a better way, so that the taxpayer who foots the bill for everything gets a fair deal.

D.G. Cahill


To the Editor,

Re: No movement in teacher talks, June 17.

At one time in B.C., school teachers were not regulated by government legislation that they must be a member of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.  They had their choice of being a member. The taxpayers elected a NDP government that made it law that all teachers must join into membership with the BCTF. Today, we have continuous labour disruptions and confrontations on an ongoing basis.

No one should blame past NDP provincial governments for these blunders.  The blame centres on the majority of B.C. taxpayers that voted for the NDP governments.

Joe Sawchuk

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