CHARBONNEAU – Supreme Court backs British Columbia’s teachers

THE GOVERNMENT of B.C. has lost its battle with teachers and education will improve as a result. Education spending in B.C. is now the second lowest per student in Canada.

charbonneaucolhedIt was an irrational battle. When Premier Clark was education minister, she tore up the contract with teachers that allowed for bargaining rights related to class size and composition. It’s galling to think that a member of the government would brag about a bill of parliament that would break a legal contract but here’s what she said in Hansard (January 26, 2002) in support of the bill:

“I am so proud to speak in support of this bill, and I look forward to getting on with the job of building a top-notch education system for British Columbia.” (Vancouver Sun)

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About Mel Rothenburger (7035 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on CHARBONNEAU – Supreme Court backs British Columbia’s teachers

  1. “THE GOVERNMENT of B.C. has lost its battle with teachers and education will improve as a result”

    For an article that opens with this line, where was the argument as to how this change will improve education?

    For years teachers have hidden behind their union while pretending to be professionals. The only way this will ever be made right is a complete overhaul of the “profession”. Creating accountability and putting evaluation on the table for the bargaining process as a way to separate those teachers who are there empower our youth and help them grow from those that are simply there because they get summers off.

    Until we give up on the notion that these people are professionals in the strict sense; pay them a realistic hourly wage to compensate the ones that work the long hours, talk to parents in the evening, do the extracurricular activities, and quit living in the same dream world as the BCTF where anyone who becomes a teacher is an altruistic saint, and isn’t driven by the same basic principals a the rest of society, then we can begin to bargain from a realistic standpoint.

    If we consider that per student funding won’t change, but we will now require more teachers, do we think the beach bum teachers are going to take the pay cut that they should? There have been numerous articles written that reduce teachers salaries to hourly rates, with conservative estimates in the $40/hour range to high estimates in the $60+/hr range, plus pensions that exceed most other professions wildest dreams. Most people would agree this is over the moon for a part time job with an arts degree.

    But back to reality, school boards are going to be forced to hire more overpaid teachers, while cutting budgets for all the other critical items that have already been cut back to the bare minimum. The education assistants and cupe members, are going to take the brunt of this. Even though they are the ones that actually make up the gap and work with the kids who cause the “composition” issues.

    Until such time as the entire “profession” is revamped, no amount of bargaining, legislating or money that gets thrown at this broken system will fix it and the education of our kids will be left in the hand of those who can’t.

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