My open letter has also been forwarded to ALL BC MLAs with this note:

 I am forwarding this open letter to EVERY MLA to encourage you to step up and do what is right for public education. Speak to the Premier, speak to the education minister and convince them that they are harming the people YOU represent. They are harming the province!

Defend public education! You can’t all agree with the gutting of public education that seems to be Ms. Clark’s agenda, can you? I have hardly heard any MLA take the government to task over their dealings with the teachers and the education system
Stand up and be counted! Make noise! FIGHT.
To all the Liberal MLAs, this applies to you WAY more than anyone else. You have the most influence, you have the most voice! if you don’t agree with what’s happening it’s time for you to take a PUBLIC stand.
I implore you; don’t let this continue!
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An open letter to the “Honourable” Christy Clark and “Honourable” Peter Fassbender.

 

An open letter to the “Honourable” Christy Clark and “Honourable” Peter Fassbender.

 

Okay Madame Premier, Minister of Education, the BCTF has bent over backwards offering solutions to break this impasse and you’ve rejected them all.

 

It is time for YOU to come up with some suggestions. Repeating the call for negotiation while you slam, bash and insult the teachers will not work.

 

NO ONE BELIEVES YOU.

 

Your words are worthless, you actions speak much louder than your words. Right now my read on your actions is that a) you don’t want to solve this now b) you’ll end this when whatever goal you’ve set out is reached c) you don’t care about the teachers, parents or students, you only care about your jobs and the bottom line.

 

You are losing the public, as a parent I’m am VERY pissed off. I’ve sent you letters, which have been ignored. If I lived in a riding represented by a liberal MLA I’d be calling their office every day.

 

Liberal MLAs have shuttered their offices rather than face PEACEFUL parents. You were elected to represent the people and you are FAILING; how can you represent a group that you don’t even listen to!

 

This strike is hurting the company I work for. If it doesn’t get solved soon it will start to reduce my pay; others in my company have already had their hours cut DIRECTLY due to your inability to deal reasonably with the teachers.

 

You lie and twist the truth better than a slimy used car salesman. “Last time we went to binding arbitration we had to raise sales tax to pay for it.” Well, it might have had something to do with cutting the corporate income tax rate the previous year!

 

We are too far apart on benefits and wages, well then stop calling support staff and hiring more teachers “benefits”! Especially don’t compare these “benefits” to the benefits awarded to other unions, they don’t have to negotiate any of that stuff. I was going to tell you what the general public considers as benefits however you know all to well, you’d just prefer to mislead the public so that you can look better. What do you think we are? Idiots?

 

Oh and then there’s you, Ms. Clark, who spouts NONSENSE about what benefits the teachers have asked for. You need to apologize to the public for LYING to them. Unlimited massages was NEVER on the table, where the hell did you get that idea, especially since your government spent enough time harping on $3000/year of massages. Never mind the fact that the teachers TOOK IT OFF THE TABLE. Did you not fact check your speech? Or did you just think no one would notice?

 

I am very unhappy with how you’ve been bleeding the public education system dry. I am fearful you are going to try to turn us into the states and bring in a voucher system. YOU DO NOT HAVE A MANDATE TO DO THAT. Hell, you barely have a mandate to rule, but that’s a discussion for a different time.

 

I love BC and I live Vancouver. However you’re making me seriously thing about taking my middle class wage earning family and moving to somewhere in Canada where education is respected and valued.

André Baron

Burnaby, BC

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Hooper Humperdink is a Pretty Cool Guy

With many thanks to our friend Kim, we happen to own a fantastic Dr. Seuss collection. We read a story every night with the kids as part of the bedtime preparedness plan, so we’ve made good progress reading through them all.

I’m amazed at the older stuff he wrote – much of it under the name Theodore LeSeig. Some of the stories make me uncomfortable. I know they are classics, but they contain things that we just don’t accept anymore. Reading those books is like listening to my Grandma Lang talk over family dinners.

There’s racism in If I Ran The Zoo, sexism in And a To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, but the topper for me is poor Hooper Humperdink? Not Him!

The setup is supposed to be clever — an alphabetical romp through all the kids that the narrator will invite to the party. But his insistence on not inviting this one kid just gets under my skin! If you’re not going to invite him, do you really have to rub it in? And it’s not like the narrator redeems himself by the end — sure, he invites Hooper after all, but for no good reason!!

And for sure Hooper is the coolest kid in the book. I mean, he’s hanging out, playing his trumpet, reading about Dizzy Gillespie, chilling with his dog… He seems like an interesting guy!! And at the end, when the rude narrator DOES invite him, you know what he does?!?!?
He brings his trumpet as a GIFT to the jerk!!

Dr. Seuss got a lot of things right. The tongue twister books rock my world. And Warren loves “Oh The Places You’ll Go” right now. But Hooper Humperdink? Not it.

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That’s it. The teachers are done.

So, in light of this: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/Media/00-MoE%20Statement-July%202%202014.pdf I think we can safely say the teachers will not recieve a settlement.

The government’s document can be summarized like this: “Unless the teachers abandon the notion of discussing class size, composition, reasonable prep time or ANYTHING other than salary, we’re not going to be able to negotiate.” What’s left? Oh yeah, salary, which they are extremely close on.

No. I’m confident that if Jim Iker called up BCPSEA tomorrow and said: “Fine, we give, we’ll even abandon our wage demands but you’ve got to give on the other stuff,” then the government would turn the offer down and NOT negotiate because the teachers were still being unreasonable.

No, I believe they have a plan, something like they did they did in 2012 (a refresher if needed). Thier plan, as I divine it, is to leave the BCTF on the ropes all through summer. 2 months of bargaining time wasted. Come the start of school they’ll “negotiate” furiously for 48 hours (August 31st and September 1st) but will be unable to come even close enough to continue by the start of school. BCTF will continue the picket lines and school won’t start at all.

The government will let this go for a week or two and then Mr. Fassbender will release a statement along the lines of:

“Last school year ended on a sour note due to the teacher’s job action. Not only were exams shortened/modified and generally weekend but also parents either did not receive report cards or received incomplete and inaccurate report cards. We were ready to bargain over the summer but the teachers were unwilling to come to us with reasonable demands.

“Now they’ve decided to carry the job action over to this school year and have disrupted the students’ entry into school. We can not let the teachers continue to hold our children hostage. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that we must introduce legislation to force the teachers back to work. We will legislate a fair deal that is within the ‘zone of affordability’. We are also going to make it a 10 year term to ensure our children are not disrupted by job action for a long time.

“I know I had promised that we would not legislate the teachers back, unfortunately this job action by the teachers has gone on too long and we can’t continue to let it affect the children.

“I want to say I’m sorry to the children, the parents and, yes, the teachers, that we had to take this step. I’m sorry we weren’t able to reach a deal.”

I also believe the bill legislating the teacher’s back will be worse than ANYTHING the government has proposed to date. In fact I’d not be surprised if it’s another thing the (soon to be broke) BCTF will have to take to court, and will likely result in ANOTHER judgement against the province.

Mark my words people: we’ve just gone over the hill on public education in this province. The government has turned in the chisels they were using to chip away at public education and has issued themselves wrecking balls.

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Why the Government needs to go back to school.

The government, er sorry BCPSEA recently published the following ad in the 24 Hours newspaper:

The front page of the 24 hours.

The front page of the 24 hours.

Second page of 24 hours ad. (photo credit http://allaboutwork.org/)

Second page of 24 hours ad. (photo credit http://allaboutwork.org/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more »

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