Misconceptions beggar belief

Teachers in British Columbia have been working in a toxic environment for many years

In the Campbell River Mirror, dated May 23, Eric Becherer wrote a letter that is so full of misconceptions, it beggars belief.

Mr. Becherer states “I tend to be leery of BCTF statements, having been a student during a teachers strike, and a parent during the most recent illegal strike…” Which illegal strike would that be? Is he aware that in 2011 a judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court deemed that teachers’ had been working without a contract for ten years, therefore, they were in a legal position to strike? A decision that was upheld by the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia.

Teachers in British Columbia have been working in a toxic environment for many years. Frankly, it isn’t necessary to tell the teachers to “use some self-reflection please…”

Their self-reflection led them to fight the government over the insidious bill being foisted upon them. A fight that goes to the very heart of education in B.C. Not until you find your children in a classroom with no student limit, with not enough text books will you understand the ramifications of what this government has done, and continues to do to public education.

Believe it or not, teachers’ have gained very little considering their level of education and qualifications. In my mind, the general public sees them as nothing more than glorified baby-sitters.

We have all attended school at some point in our lives, however, that does not qualify us to become teachers nor does it give us the right to make judgement calls.

Perhaps, I should state that as a mother of a B.C. teacher, not in SD 72, I can speak firsthand to how much of her life, my daughter, has spent studying to become a teacher, not to mention the costs incurred.

As a qualified teacher she continues, on her own time and out of her own pocket, to add to her skills to better help her students.  Given her skill set and qualifications she is more valuable in Ontario than she is in British Columbia?

Although, I agree with Mr. Becherer, the BCTF has not handled the current situation very well, I feel the need to point out to him that the government, also, needs to be held to account.

This is a very complex situation, that cannot be resolved by “armchair pundits.”  I could go on “ad infinitum.”

Suffice to say, that as you chastise all those lazy, greedy teachers, keep in mind the ones who provide a hot breakfast to children who arrive at school, tired, hungry and unkempt.  Kudos to the Campbell River teachers who used the newspapers to keep parents informed during the “work to rule.”

Personally, I feel that B.C. teachers are undervalued, and, if, as this government states they are an essential service, why is it that Mr. Abbott appears to have difficulty fostering a sense of trust and coming to the table in mutual understanding? After all, teachers are a professional body and ought to be treated accordingly.

M. V. Young

Campbell River