Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why all the teacher bashing? To divert your attention

It's been a heady week of attacking BC teachers. Whether it be the college supposedly failing to keep bad teachers out of schools, or the demands of teachers in bargaining, it seems just about every CanWest paper and CKNW station is out to demonize teachers.

I'm not surprised.

They can't attack our primary demand - improved classroom conditions. They know that parents are onside when it comes to improving funding for schools and making classes smaller and more manageable. The recent court decision only makes this harder as a third party - a Supreme court judge, no less - found that we were correct and the government acted unconstitutionally.

So instead? Focus on the tiny number of "bad apples" (which, of course, every profession has). The most blatent was the Province's distasteful cartoon using a Hitler image in the role of substitute teacher. It's hard to express in words how disrespectful this is, but I loved the humourous comeback of one blogster: "Province's Nazi Cartoon all in good fun"

However these diversion tactics are really for another purpose - they want to paint teachers as the enemy (for wanting decent wages and working conditions) so that we don't notice the massive theft taking place of ordinary families by government, the banks and corporate Canada.

I'm no fan of the Fraser Institute, and I don't agree with the conclusion they reach, but this article was interesting to show how taxation has shifted to average Canadians ( Corporations and the wealthy used to pay *closer* to their fair share to support public services. As corporate taxes declined, governments relied on debt to finance these services. Now that the debt bubble has burst in so many places, it is the services themselves and the people who work as public servants that are under threat.

The answer is very simple. Don't cut services. Don't increase taxes for ordinary working families. Don't demonize public sector workers. Don't decimate the middle class. Tax those who can afford to pay.


  1. To see the cartoon in The Province, you need to click on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 at:

  2. The tax shift onto individuals and families has been huge. Even Warren Buffett (billionaire) admitted that his secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than he does. He also commented that the monied classes have been "waging war" on unions, middle and lower classes for over 30 years and that "we are winning" (we being the upper class). Small surprise that the Liberal government marches to the same tune.

  3. amazing how blind teachers really are to the REAL world ... every other industry and sector is having wage freezes, cutbacks, layoffs, reductions and teachers want less hours, shorter weeks, shorter school years, less work all for MORE pay !!! get your heads out of the sand and have a look at the real word for once ... you wonder why kids have no respect for your profession (and I use that term very loosely) try doing a full days work for once and teach kids they have to work a full 8 hours a day and then maybe people will start to respect you ... until that time occurs, well that's not likely !!!!!!!!!!

  4. Right, it's not like teachers have parents, siblings, spouses or friends who work in the "real world".

    I'm assuming you don't have any family or friends who are teachers or you'd change your tune... During the school year I'm physically at the school an average of 8 hours, and I do a lot of planning and marking while at home, too. I can count on at least 2-3 hours of marking/planning on my weekends, unless it's report card time, when I spend more like 8-10 hours on the weekend working.

    I once worked out my hourly wage and it was a little distressing.

    Add to that the fact that I probably shell out about $500 a year out of pocket for supplies, resources and courses (usually the PAC gives about $100 for supplies, but that goes quickly)...

    Having said all that, I voted for job action not because of pay or benefits, but because the current state of funding in education means that we are placing too many special needs students in each class and each student is not getting the amount of individual attention he needs.

    I love teaching, but I hate feeling like I should be doing a better job than I am. A quality public school education is such an important investment. I hope that both the BCTF and the BCPSEA manage to reach an agreement that benefits everyone: kids, families and educators. We ALL deserve it.

  5. Well said,

    The untold, unseen, unpaid hours provided by teachers will continue to be ignored by the misinformed who think that teachers work 5 hours per day. There's two remedies for this:

    a. pay teachers fairly for the ridiculously long hours that are put in

    b. have teachers withdraw all of this voluntary, unpaid, unappreciated time and watch the system grind to a halt

    Joe Public who wants teachers to get off their lazy asses may want to get his facts straight before he totally alienates one of the few groups in society that voluntarily works for free 2 to 3 hours per day...try asking your local banker, lawyer, or doctor to do that my friend.

  6. Wow, I am disheartened to hear people bash teachers. If you have kids and you love your kids wouldn't you want the people who are teaching them and moulding them to be treated with the respect they deserve? Teachers are a noble bunch but often too busy w/ teaching our childrden to fight for their rights! Teachers have been very patient;now it's time to stand up for them and support them not bash them.