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BC Liberals Need To Stretch the Truth, They Already Know We Don’t Believe Them

There is a lot of rhetoric going around in the current BCTF/BC Liberal Government battle over teachers contracts.

To set a context; BC teachers have been without a contract since last January and have, since September, been working using limited job action (filling out report cards and supervising recess) but have been teaching. Now, as of this Monday and thanks to a ruling by the LRB (Labour Relations Board) have began full strike action. They will be putting up pickets for three days this week (until tomorrow) and for one day a week following.

Tensions have come to a head as a result of Bill 22 the Education Improvement Act is in essence a back to work bill that doesn’t really legislate a contract, but does say teachers will be finned if they strike and they must resume ALL duties that they previously did under their expired contract…so it’s an un-imposed-imposed contract.

The thing is, the government has been throwing a lot of “facts” around regarding the BCTF and they REALLY REALLY want you to believe them. Thanks to intrepid journalist Katie Hyslop , we finally have a good comparison between what the BC Liberal Government has been saying and what the reality is. I wanted to include some of her comparisons for your own perusal and if you like, you can read her full article here .

The Ministry of Education says…

BCTF Claim: Ninth-best paid in Canada

FACT: B.C. teachers’ salary plus benefits is fourth-best among provinces.

Teachers’ response

BCTF uses current salary figures (2011-12) for Category 5 (five years of university) and Category 6 (Master’s degree) from salary grids in teacher collective agreements across Canada. Based on this comparison:

The maximum salary for a B.C. teacher with Category 5 qualifications ranks ninth in Canada, including the provinces and territories. Based on provinces only, the rank shifts to sixth among the 10 provinces.

BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) uses outdated data and manipulates the rankings by comparing a teacher at Category 4 (only four years of university) salary with fewer qualifications, in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, to a B.C. teacher with Category 5 qualifications.

The Ministry of Education says…

BCTF Claim: (Bill 22) Eliminated class sizes.

FACT: Class-size caps on all grades with exceptions made by principals and superintendents.

Teachers’ response

Bill 22: Removes the involvement of teachers in the organization of their classes by repealing the requirement for teacher consultation. Ensures larger classes in Grades 4 to 7 because it removes the previous requirement of teacher consent. Removes parent involvement in the organization of classes by repealing the requirement that the principal consult with parent councils about class size at the beginning of the school year. Eliminates public transparency and accountability by repealing the requirement that the superintendent provide a report to school trustees in a public meeting about class sizes in the district.

For me, this is the major one because BC Liberal Education Minister has been bandying about this two Billion figure like a lottery ticket and all major news sources are buying into it. Even Bill Good, who likely is no friend to the BCTF, uses this figure as an opener in ANY discussion about BCTF demands:

The Ministry of Education says…

BCTF Claim: Ninth-best paid in Canada

FACT: B.C. teachers’ salary plus benefits is fourth-best among provinces.

Teachers’ response

BCTF uses current salary figures (2011-12) for Category 5 (five years of university) and Category 6 (Master’s degree) from salary grids in teacher collective agreements across Canada. Based on this comparison:

The maximum salary for a B.C. teacher with Category 5 qualifications ranks ninth in Canada, including the provinces and territories. Based on provinces only, the rank shifts to sixth among the 10 provinces.

BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) uses outdated data and manipulates the rankings by comparing a teacher at Category 4 (only four years of university) salary with fewer qualifications, in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, to a B.C. teacher with Category 5 qualifications.

You read the entire article and see for yourself if you think the Government is being truthful. My opinion: they want you to believe them so badly, and they are so very aware they are already on rocky footing the with BC public, they are willing to stretch the truth to win this battle.

Don’t believe everything you hear.

Cross Posted at The Ryan Painter Show

1 comment to BC Liberals Need To Stretch the Truth, They Already Know We Don’t Believe Them

  • karen

    I heard Kevin Falcon on the news early this morning (probably taped yesterday) saying they would not negotiate on their 0/0/2 “offer” because that would set a pattern for other contracts in or coming into negotiation. I say legislating this contract, which closes off the teachers right to strike, sets a pattern in the government’s favour when coming into these other negotiations. As someone else said yesterday- the inability to withhold your paid work is slavery.
    The thing that drives me nuts is how people don’t see how this is all tied together. If the union wages and benefits can be driven down, how long is a $10 minimum wage going to look viable to the government? If teachers and nurses and hospital employees and government employees can be made to work even more with less, (and conditions have already been eroded badly since 2001) why wouldn’t they want grocery store clerks and gas station attendants take cuts too?
    I am a union carpenter. I was out yesterday in support of the teachers and I will be again this evening and any other time they need me. I don’t want to race anyone to the bottom. I want my neighbours and my friends and the person who checks out my groceries to thrive dammit!