Letters: Teachers asking for too much

In response to letter "Cheap Shots from Fletcher" and teacher's salaries

Re: “Cheap shots from Fletcher, April 4, 2012.

The education budget in B.C. for 2012-2013 is $4.7 billion with taxpayer population of 4,510,858, Alberta for 2012-2013 is $7.1 billion with taxpayer population of 3,724,832, Ontario for 2012-2013 is $24 billion with taxpayer population of 13,210,667.

Paycheque tax rates for B.C. is 5.06 per cent Ontario is 5.05 per cent  and Alberta is 10 per cent.  Teachers are the highest paid in Ontario because of the number of taxpayers, Alberta next because of the high tax deductions and B.C. in third.

In one year, $337,805,545 was paid to the B.C. teachers pension plan. This was $104,725,123 more than the total of all B.C. school employees’ total remittance to Canada Revenue for Canada Pension Plan, (both employer and employee), Employment Insurance, (both employer and employee), and income tax deductions totalling $233,080,422. Remember the employer portion is the B.C. taxpayer.  Of all benefit payments, 37 per cent of the total goes to the B.C. teachers pension plan.  Further financial information at kto.12.ca

The present BCTF TV commercial shows that B.C. teachers are number nine in wages in Canada.  This is bogus and propaganda and should be removed.  Calgary Herald, Feb. 8, 2012 headline:  “Alberta teacher talks breakdown.”  Talks began in Sept. 2011, and will not continue until after the spring 2012 provincial election.

The Alberta and Ontario governments are asking for a teacher wage freeze with zero increase.

The teachers work 188 days per year after all professional days, stat holidays, Christmas and Easter breaks, and summer holidays.  Us regular taxpayers, work 238 days after stat holidays, and maybe get 15 days of annual vacation. Teachers’ B.C. Pension Plan contribution is about 24 per cent per month based on their salary with 13 per cent of that paid by the taxpayers.

Teachers complain of portable classroom and student class size, as is happening in Alberta and Ontario.Teachers have a excellent benefit package in comparison to  fellow taxpayers in the private sector.  A Port Alberni teacher, age 57, retired with B.C. teacher pension of $2,300 per month, in 2008. If he waited until 2011, he would get $3000 per month.  Now add CPP if he wishes to take it at age 60, he is living very comfortable. If he waits until age 65 to take CPP then add on Old Age Security, what a wonderful life.

In summary, I don’t believe teachers have anything to complain about – excellent wages and great benefits with a lot of time off.  The world is in a economic crisis, and it will turn around.

The minister of education is trying to tell  teachers that pay raises will come when the world crisis turns around, but no, teachers want everything now.

Unbelievable, from well educated people like teachers. In closing, teachers, how many times have you said, “What part of no, do you not understand?”  Now the B.C. Ministry of Education and the B.C. taxpayers who have to foot the bill, ask the teachers, “What part of no, do you not understand?”

Joe Sawchuk

Duncan