Letter: Only the appearance of bargaining

Teachers are being provoked by province to strike

Whether it be a Supreme Court judge, CBC television or Victoria’s major newspaper, all agree the BC Liberals are trying to provoke a teacher strike by threatening to cut teachers’ wages if they don’t accept the government’s contract offer.

Government posturing and negotiating through the media with a ridiculous insistence on a “Just trust us” 10-year contract has been dropped to give the appearance of fair bargaining and compromise. Like Gordon Campbell said in previous battles with teachers, they will pay for their own contract goals by losing money on the picket line. Yet Education Minister Peter Factbender says plans to cut teachers’ pay if they don’t cooperate is not a threat?

Christy Clark’s goal is to provoke the teachers because she thinks that would put the public onside for any Draconian measures she wants to take. Just who is using public school students as pawns?

Teachers deserve a fair wage increase after years of stagnating wages caused by government belt-tightening that never seems to apply to the insiders of the polical elite that rule us. Class composition with too many unsupported special needs students in regular classes will be one more nail in the coffin of public education even as Christy Clark just found more money for private schools.

Parents will be justifiably angered at school closure due to strikes. The teachers are just the messengers of the bad news in our public schools. Don’t shoot them.

Ted Roberts

Sooke

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