Would you sign a 10-year phone contract?

Teacher argues against long-term bargaining for the classroom.

Dear editor,

Sitting at my school’s graduation this year was lovely and emotional and everything you hope for when you are a high school teacher; a beautiful and poignant send-off of children to become successful and productive adults.

But (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming), during the ceremony the valedictorian said something I found quite profound. She said, “Most of us were in grade 1 in our first week of school when the tragedy of 9/11 happened.”

And it hit me. What a world these children have had to grow up in. A world of fear, constant world tensions and the inundation of security, intrusion and general societal paranoia. A world where distrust and an overabundance of precautions are now the norm.

And then the other shoe dropped for me. The government I work for wants to lock in a contract with B.C. teachers for 10 years. I am by no means suggesting the tragedy of 9/11 is the same as our contract struggle — not at all.

I just would suggest that we look at how much the world has changed since then and how changes in B.C. education that will be required in the next 10 years will be significantly thwarted if we don’t have a school system and a collective agreement that will be flexible and adaptive to students’ and teachers’ needs.

The world is changing. So is education. And while we call for a system that will be adaptive to 21st century needs, we are being told labour peace is the benefit of a 10-year deal. But what about the needs of a system to evolve? A 10-year deal thwarts and throttles that because so much cannot be negotiated for 10 years.

Of course I’d like labour peace, but to suggest a 10-year deal is good for B.C. is much like suggesting we all should just stick with the automobile we have now and not get a new one if the current one no longer runs or is fixable or needs new tires.

If asking to keep up with the cost of living and having contract rights that were illegally (not rhetoric here folks, but court-determined) returned is considered greedy, then yes, I am greedy.

If asking for the government of B.C. to respect both students AND teachers in this province by funding education (and yes, gasp, perhaps raise taxes to do it) is the stuff of pipe-dreams, then call me a smoker.

I notice that each year my municipal taxes go up. I don’t like it, but I understand it, because I know that my roads need to be fixed, that the police and firemen in my municipality deserve to keep up with inflation and items like this must be funded.

But somehow fundamentally our provincial government has gone to such a neo-conservative extreme that even the words “tax increase” are seen as heretical.

As we all were discussing in the staff room before the school year ended, nobody would sign a 10-year cell phone deal, why would we do it with our children’s future? And our careers?

Colin Plant, teacher

Saanich

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read