And nothing but the truth
I hate to say this, coming from the Philippines, the government system is becoming similar to where I came from. And it’s not a good situation.
“If we are not prepared to take a stand now (especially with the partial lockout and the salary reduction), when will we ever stand up to this government? Are we waiting for the government to roll our salaries back even further, to further reduce supports for students, to hold teachers even more accountable than they currently are?”
B.C. Teachers Are Only Asking For What Was Taken Away
Over the last decade, almost $2 billion has been funnelled out of public education.
Over the last decade, public education has had a funding reduction of almost $2 billion.
Over the last decade, our students have been deprived of $2 billion that should have been theirs. The government’s own numbers say so.
Class size and composition wording much like the BCTF is asking for used to be included in the contract. Teachers negotiated for these provisions and took years of zero per cent pay increases in order to fund them. They put their own potential earnings back into the school system in return for these working and learning conditions.
Let’s pause here for a moment to talk about what class size and composition actually mean. The first is rather straight-forward: the number of students in a class. The more students in a class, the less one-on-one attention is available for each student. This has a direct impact on students.
Class composition is a little trickier to explain, however. Class composition refers to the emotional and education needs of students. Some students require more assistance than others to accomplish the same learning outcomes as their peers.
Then, in 2002, the contract that included these negotiated terms was ripped up. The class size and composition language that the BCTF is trying to re-negotiate now was removed. Just…poof. Gone.
The Supreme Court of B.C. has twice said that the Liberal government’s dissolution of the negotiated contract was illegal. The courts have told the government that they need to fund these things. Twice.
Ashley D. MacKenzie High School Teacher: Huffpost British Columbia