Now that the students are back in the classrooms, it might be time for some lessons for the teachers and their employers. Students were not happy with the strike and they stood up and said so – they wanted and needed to get back to school.
The contract accepted by the teachers may not be optimum but it does have some of what they asked for. It got them back to work. For the two sides to sit together and hammer out an agreement over a period of what seemed like days speaks to the stubbornness of both sides. It is surprising though that so few labour dispute talks were held during the summer. The province said there is only so much money in the education budget but it certainly didn’t stop them from priming the pump with a $40 per day stipend for parents with kids under 13. What is that going to cost the taxpayer? Perhaps those monies could have been better used in the classrooms. How will the students make up for the time lost? Guess it doesn’t seem to matter.
Any time there is a strike it seems those on the picket lines never make up the money they lost. The government, on the other hand, saved millions every day the teachers were out. B.C. teachers went without a pay cheque for three weeks out of the four in September. Of course sometimes it is the “other” factors which they strike for, but in the end it’s always the money that speaks the loudest.
Teachers are essential and they are respected and valued for the job they do. Education is what makes our world different than life in the Third World. We take education for granted while others fight for the right to be educated.
There are lessons to be learned here for both sides, but it shouldn’t always be the kids they say they are fighting for that have to take the brunt of their actions.