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OUR VIEW: Legislated settlement no surprise

We say: Liberals’ concern for children certainly seems selective

Nobody seems to be overly surprised that the provincial government has decided to use legislation to end yet another contract negotiation with B.C.’s teachers.

Historically, when it comes to contract negotiations, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the Liberal government have gotten along like milk and vinegar, with contract negotiations ending in legislation.

This time, however, the Liberals appear to have found opportunity in teachers’ job action. Premier Christy Clark, who is slumping in the polls, says she will not seek more taxpayer dollars to pay government workers.

The BCTF, however, is quick to note that MLAs currently make about $102,000, on which they receive an annual percentage increase based on the consumer price index.

Education Minister George Abbott says he is concerned for the vulnerable children who have been negatively impacted by the teachers’ job action. While this concern may be sincere, it certainly seems selective.

British Columbia has the worst child-poverty rate in the country, and the new provincial budget, recently announced by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, does nothing to address this.

Nor will it help parents struggling with the cost of day care, or post-secondary students saddled with large loans.

Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to skyrocket, but Falcon will not consider raising the corporate tax until 2014 – after the election.

No, it’s no surprise the Liberal government is pushing a legislated contract on teachers. It’s just business as usual.

– Black Press

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