A Weak Premier Christy Clark Has Left BC Families High And Dry

By August 31, 2014Provincial Politics

By Mike Archer. Contributing Editor to Thetyee.ca Crawford Killian correctly pointed out on Thursday that the BC Government is clearly involved in a high stakes game of union busting in its pretend negotiations with the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF).

Having been found guilty twice by the BC Supreme Court for bargaining in bad faith and forced to pay compensation, Christy Clark’s Liberal government is sticking to it’s insistence that the BCTF sign a contract which fundamentally absolves the government of any guilt or responsibility for its actions in the past or the future.

It’s as if I were to ask you to sign a contract with an additional clause, on which I insist, which states that, if I don’t want to live up to the terms of the contract I can choose not to.

A more dishonest, disingenuous and immoral stance is hard to imagine, but that is what the Christy Clark Liberal government has chosen over the rights of the families of BC and their children.

And Clark is nowhere to be found, preferring to Tweet her way through crisis after crisis and rely on her winning smile to replace leadership and principles.

The fault for the fact that BC parents are now scrambling to find something to do with their children when they are supposed to be going back to school Tuesday morning lies squarely with Premier Christy Clark.

Families First indeed.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Gerda Peachey says:

    Mike: You blame the provincial government for the teachers strike.

    The Liberal government leaves a lot to be desired. The recent revelation of the immoral wages, expenses and bonuses of Translink staff, being only the latest example of public money sliding stealthily off into grubby hands. The Liberal response, that they can’t control Translink, it not being a crown corporation, would ring true, but for the fact that their obscene wages and bonuses come directly from public funding.

    The failure to rein in Mark Townsend and other directors of the ‘Portland Hotel Society’, who swam like Scrooge in the money-bins, designated to help the poorest of the poor in Vancouver,……no criminal investigation, says Rich Coleman. Why not?? What a stench!

    The 10 to 12 million bucks Christy Clark spent in a bid to win over the Indo-Canadian vote, by paying to bring the ‘Times of India film awards’ to Vancouver. Crass, low, abuse of our tax dollars.

    But none of that alters the reality that teachers earn really comfortable wages already. They already have terrific benefits. Outstanding pension benefits, and long stretches of time off. Richard just retired from 17 years of teaching in District 34. After a few years being a TOC he liked the freedom it gave him to pursue other interests, so he earned less and had none of the benefits. Nonetheless having moved from banking to teaching made a huge difference in his wages.

    During my own years as a banker there was a movement to bring in the union. I went to a few of their clandestine meetings but rejected the whole thing. Unions take in massive amounts of money, use that money outside of their mandate, have little to no transparency, as to where all the money goes, and are way too powerful.

    The BCTF has been acting as if IT/THEY own the children of BC. They have long ago forgotten that they are the employees, and that ultimately it is the taxpayers and the parents of those children, who should be in the driver’s seat.

    Teachers hold placards that this is all about class size and composition. It’s all about caring for the kids. Well most of us would want to see that issue addressed alright.

    But if that is the heart of this dispute, remove the wage increases entirely. And a $5,000. signing bonus? Get real.

    Maybe I know too many tradesmen, and self-employed people who can only dream of the cushy wages, benefit and pensions taken for granted by the teaching profession.

    Hang in there Christy Clark. And while you’re at it, please stop the filching of public funds wherever it occurs, under your watch.

  • The Editor says:

    Hi Gerda,
    I used to feel the way you do until someone asked me why I was opposed to teachers being well rewarded for what they do and why, instead of bringing the tradesmen (and other people who barely have a living wage) up so that they can have a decent life, I was so focused on bringing the teachers down.
    Lee Iaccoco said that in a properly run society our teachers would make millions a year and our factory managers (by which he meant himself, as chairman and president of Chrysler) would be paid what we pay teachers.
    I share your frustration with the BCTF’s traditional tactic of marrying wage increases and the issues of class size and composition. I think that after this disastrous strike they are going to have rethink that tactic.
    Having said that, and having witnessed the teachers take $125,000,000 off the table with the government not budging an inch, I believe this strike is about the government’s insistence on absolving itself of two Supreme Court decisions forcing it to make up for its illegal negotiating tactics. Nothing more – nothing less. 🙂


    • Gerda Peachey says:

      Mike: No doubt that court case is the big boogeman in the shadows. We are not talking about particularly ‘righteous’ players, in either corner.

      But so what if the BCTF took $125,000,000 off the table?? Good grief, they put that ridiculous figure on the table, in the first place, did they not? Why should the rest of the workers in BC be forced to fund teachers wildly absurd, ridiculous demands, at all?

      This business of COMPARING wages, never compares wages with the masses, who earn so much less, beneath them,….that would be the majority folk held hostage by this greed. People who still pay for public education but now scramble to find a safe place for their children, while they trudge off to work, to pay the lofty demands of unionized government employees, and teachers who will not teach.

      There are truly first-rate teachers,many who have blessed our journey through life. But people know when they enrol in university what medicine is likely to pay, what engineering can lead to, what a major in chemistry may open up. Nursing, teaching……you apply yourself, work your way through university, maybe run up student loans, but you apply for the teaching job, KNOWING beforehand what average pay is being offered.

      If you do not like the pay, or the work being offered, do not apply for the job. There are a lot of people with the necessary qualifications, who can’t get in. And Mike, while I’d guess the majority of them do a fine job, it is problematic that the BCTF is too powerful to rid the system of the bad apples.

      Hold the fort, Christy.

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