LETTER: Teachers and government to blame in strike mess

Negotiations are really about a power struggle between the teachers union and the province

The teachers strike is not about the students and it’s not about the teachers.

It’s about a power struggle between the teachers union and the government.

The government believes that class size and composition is a matter of policy that should be set by the taxpayers through their elected representatives.

The union wants to have a direct influence on the size of classes and the composition. Why would they want influence on these matters? Is it for the children? Is it for the teachers?

Smaller class sizes means hiring more teachers. That has a huge impact on government budgets and taxpayers.

I feel sorry for the students because they’ve been used and denied the end of their last school year and possibly the beginning of the new one.

I feel sorry for the teachers because they been used and lost pay, especially those that have put in long careers and paid so much money into the union coffers.

Where did all the strike fund money go? I don’t know for sure. The teachers union spends enormous amounts of money on litigation, advertising how poorly teachers are treated and how our schools are in a crisis.

So are the schools in a crisis as the union claims, or is it just peachy keen like government says?

I believe each side will embellish its position. B.C. children rank very well on the national and international stage and B.C. teachers are not the worst treated either, however I don’t think they’re overpaid. If they haven’t had a raise in a long time, then give them one.

Would we do much better with smaller classes and different compositions? Some studies suggest we would benefit and others say it would create very little benefit.

Could we do better? Probably. The level of taxation and its allocation should be left to the taxpayer through the ballet box and not by the union.

Just stop and think what would happen to our taxes if all our public sector unions started dictating staffing levels.

If the kids aren’t back in school next week, both Education Minister Peter Fassbender and BCTF President Jim Iker should be tossed. I think a lot of people would agree on that.

What if their jobs were on the line?

Bob Broughton

Saanich