Concerned about the future

A Grade 8 math student would know that math is wrong

Re: “A history of teacher demands – — – – -”  by Tom Fletcher

I am 80 years old and I cannot recall an article more inaccurate and one-sided than the tripe spouted by T. Fletcher in this article. His “facts” are wildly innaccurate as the current offers from both sides have changed considerably from what he has quoted.

Sixteen per cent?  A Grade 8 math student would know that math is wrong. That is only one point.  Does the Black Press have proofreaders?

Mr. Fletcher is obviously spouting the government party line. That is not an indication of a reporter (who should be unbiased) and an insult to journalism. Perhaps a rewrite and/or apology is in order. (Editor’s Note: Fletcher’s article in question is a column which is an opinion piece, not news reporting).

I am a concerned grandmother for the future education of our young people whose education is at the bottom of the Canadian provincial scale.  It’s a competitve world they face. How can we let them start with a disadvantaged education?  The crucial reason teachers are on the picket line is this government’s refusal to discuss the issue of class size and composition.

The courts have already determined twice that the government’s removal of class size and composition from legal contracts with the BCTF is unconstitutional, yet our government has chosen to ignore these rulings and incur further costs to taxpayers by appealing these rulings.

Lorna MacIntosh

Campbell River

 

Fletcher responds

Thanks for your letter, Lorna. The 16 per cent I referenced was in the 2012 negotiations and strike. That was after a year without a contract following expiry of the 2006 agreement in which the BCTF received 16 per cent and a signing bonus. This is the “history” to which the headline refers.

The current demand is calculated at 14.5% over five years. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this, partly due to an erroneous ad run by the BC government in a Vancouver newspaper.

The full BCPSEA costing calculation is here. It details the union’s demand for wages as well as benefits, including the infamous $3,000 per year for massage therapy: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/teacher%20bargaining/Bargaining%20Bulletin/00-DS-Backgrounder-What’s%20Really%20on%20the%20Table-Bargaining%20Proposals%20June%2019%202014.pdf

Tom Fletcher

Legislature reporter and columnist/Black Press