Re: Taxpayers forgotten in teacher’s strike, Letters (June 19)
I would like to address two of the points Jean brought up. First, teachers’ huge salaries: the average Canadian with a university degree working full-time in Canada in 2010 made $80,500. This is significantly above the current average salary of teachers in B.C. of $71,485, and higher than only teachers with an advanced education who have been employed for 10 or more years. I have included a link to the source for this information if you would like to verify: http://goo.gl/iEvYIi. Teachers make a decent salary, but it is less than the average Canadian with a similar education, and they have been losing ground to inflation.
Second, provisions already exist in local contracts for dismissal of teachers, and they are very similar to what was suggested. Article C.25 of the collective agreement of the Fraser-Cascade Teachers’ Association stipulates that a teacher may be dismissed after three less than satisfactory teaching reports. This too can be verified online: http://goo.gl/RQBxs2
Teachers do have pensions and benefits, but these are not uncommon in unionized workplaces. We also pay a significant portion of the cost of both of these in the form of payroll deductions. Teachers need cost of living increases to keep up with inflation. Everyone does. The main sticking points in the bargaining at this point, however, are class size and composition, and this is about helping students, because teacher working conditions are student learning conditions.