Deal far from beneficial to students

Re: One-year deal doesn’t solve main issues, June 28.

To the Editor,

Re: One-year deal doesn’t solve main issues, June 28.

Despite the fact that I face considerable punitive measures directly and indirectly, as a parent and a teacher I will be voting no to the ‘deal’ struck between the Clark government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

There are a number of reasons for my decision, but fundamentally, it is because the students of this province get absolutely nothing from this. Class sizes continue to be astronomically high and support for special needs children continues to be culled. To offer me Viagra and birth control pills as a bribe would be insulting if it wasn’t so comical.

I find it ironic that the same government that wants to implement anti-bullying workshops for teachers, continues to hold a knife to my throat and that of my students.

This is a province that, over the past 12 years, has systematically targeted teachers, families and students.

I notice the timely removal of ‘Coast Saver’ rates on B.C. Ferries just as children are disgorged from school so families wanting to travel are targeted to pay 30 per cent more for the privilege.

In B.C., students pay sales taxes, and can’t vote until 18, but when children turn 12 they pay adult fares (on the ferries). Meanwhile, David Hahn, who worked only part of the year, received $1.1 million in salary, incentive bonus pay and pension benefits when he retired, despite the corporation making a loss in 2011.

And something is wrong when the government funds private education to the tune of 30-50 per cent per enrolled student, but reduces support for public education.

I suppose eroding the public education system saves money in the same way eroding health care has done.  The name and shame ‘bad teacher’ website recently launched by the government’s aptly named Teacher Regulation Branch is an indication that our leaders haven’t progressed much since the Victorian era: victimize and shame those teachers that need help rather than treat or support them.

How is this beneficial to anyone, least of all the students or teachers concerned?

Paul Nixon

Nanaimo