To the Editor,
Re: History shows B.C. teachers have sacrificed, Letters, May 8.
Tim Daniel’s claim that B.C. teachers’ ‘history of sacrifice’ justifies current union job action begs to be challenged and refuted.
Quite to the contrary, the history of teacher strikes and job action indicates professional ethics and moral principles are secondary to monetary benefits and perceived entitlements. Furthermore, strikes are not ‘sacrifices’ but rather a desperate collective bargaining tactic.
History will show that in the mid-1990s, the Nanaimo school district annual calendar scheduled three work days in what was traditionally the spring break week.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation union local protested and refused to work those three days. The board persisted and schools were open, but teachers were absent. The board withheld pay and teachers threatened job action if they were not paid for their three ‘vacation’ days.
The solution to this dispute resulted in unionized teachers being paid for the three days in exchange for turning a blind eye to class-size limits soon scheduled to take effect.
The board was given a pass on the implementation of negotiated class sizes and teachers slithered away with three days’ pay for work not performed. So much for professional ethics and moral principles.
Daniels concludes by saying teachers are using the extra time taken from supervising student activities to communicate with the public in defence of the system and their civil rights.
Setting aside the controversy over ‘curricular’, ‘extra-curricular’ and ‘voluntary’ duties, this current strategy does nothing more than increase the burden on students and parents and illustrates the desperate and avaricious bent of the BCTF and its union locals resulting in a breach of public trust.
Finally, what sort of convoluted logic could explain current attempts to further detract from the education of our children and youth in order to save it?
If there is anything to be learned from this dispute between government and the B.C. teachers’ union, it is greater insight into the herd mentality of the people responsible for the welfare of our children and the nefarious masterminds behind the collective effort to dominate our educational institutions.
History will not absolve these actions.
James A. Lettic