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Teachers need to try living in the real world

By Brent Stafford, The Duel


I don’t blame the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation for being unreasonable in its contract demands. After all, teachers don’t work in the real world. They are oblivious to the challenges of driving revenue, servicing customers, operating against a budget tied to profit and loss. They have no idea what it’s like to be an entrepreneur — to bet their future on a new product, service or system — to nurture a small business, to be responsible for the livelihood of staff and to satisfy a mountain of regulation.


They have no concept of what’s it like to work in an environment where their job security is tied to measurable outcomes.

Plainly, teachers are incapable of being reasonable in contract negotiations since they have no baseline understanding or stake in the way the real working world operates. Sadly, it is this world that funds the education system and since teachers don’t understand it, we find ourselves again in an intractable mess.

I’m fed up with B.C. teachers. Their demands are unrealistic, their strategy is helter skelter and their tactics are deplorable. Teachers see taxpayers’ money as a big pot of which they have a right to their fair share. They consistently point to government spending on a multitude of valid priorities — Olympics, Sea-to-Sky Highway, Canada Line and, yes, even retractable roofs — then stamp their feet and scream you should have spent that money on us. They view every dollar not spent on them as discretionary and consider it an insult the money was not directed their way.

Read Laila Yuile's column here.

Am I being harsh? Yes! Considering I believe, as does the government, teachers do deserve a raise. And I believe, as does the government, that more money should be dedicated to special needs.

I am disgusted by the rhetoric spewing across social media by teachers. It’s poisonous and will have lasting repercussions on everyone’s trust and value in the system. The personal attacks against the premier, dragging her son into the dispute, the harassment of Fassbender’s grandchildren — teachers should be ashamed.

Teachers are advancing a dystopian view of the provincial education system. They say government has abandoned students. I don’t buy it. The K-12 education budget is currently $5.3 billion per year — with more on the table in this round of negotiations.

Anyone who says the provincial government and the voters who elected it do not care about the future of B.C.’s students is being asinine and unreasonable.



Who wins this week's Duel?

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