More teachers starting to use union emergency funds

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
More teachers starting to use union emergency funds

Some teachers are feeling the pinch during the ongoing labour dispute, with wages being cut or the union’s strike pay fund running dry.

Charley King, of the Coquitlam Teachers Association, says he’s heard concerns among his 22-hundred members, so the group is trying to put a fund together.

He says, “Locals don’t have a lot of resources, but what we are able to do is provide a little bit of something which helps people at least a bit. We’re able to provide grocery store gift cards, which isn’t much, but it’ll allows at least to provide some relief to as many members as we can.”

King says the government docking teachers’ wages by 10 per cent has made it especially hard.

He hopes the two sides reach a deal by the end of June.


  1. 3 days of lost wages and a 10% rollback is causing problems

    Remember when the BCTF closed schools for three day and chastised those that said it was a financial burden to lose those days that they should stand behind teachers without complaining. So the real working poor it’s ok, but for teachers averaging 72,000 a year it’s break the bank.

    • You are wrong. That is not the average. Here are some facts quoted that site, from people who actually work and volunteer in the system and know what is going on: “How about reporting on kids waiting years for assessments or schools without resource teachers for their dozens of designated students? (We will have eleven CEA’s next year, 25+ resource kids and we share a resource teacher among THREE schools!!). Where the hell is that story on the 5:00 news?” “We have a 2-3 yr waitlist for psych-ed assessments! I am a reading teacher in a learning disabilities program for NINE schools!? I can’t keep up, and they want to cut us?!” The comments here are reprehensible and completely ignorant. The government is bold face lying and you believe it. It isn’t three days lost wages. It is going to be almost a months, and that before two and a half months without pay. There are many teachers who are single parents, or two teacher families.

    • I hate to say this but I think of CKNW as about the same as the Geraldo Rivera Show. All about the brawl and the punches that can be thrown around by ignorant people for ignorant people. I hope some who listen to this station which pushes Liberal’s propaganda are riled up enough to check other sources. Try the Tyee or Huffington Post. Or go onto Facebook and join the debate with: Try listening to teachers. You are not getting the truth through this station nor through much of the media which is greatly influenced by our governments agenda. I know so many who are below the poverty line as Teachers On Call. I myself, can say I earned at least twenty-thousand less than this “average” and I am in my 7th year of teaching. I also spend at least $500 from my pocket each year on resources. I take seriously my profession for which I agree to a code of conduct. I am liable for the students in my care, despite the safety concerns of overcrowding and the lack of supervision for students with special needs. Furthermore, I challenge anyone who thinks it is an easy job, to walk a day or two in my shoes. No…. Better yet: I’d love to see you stay long enough to assess, mark, plan, report, attend staff meetings, and meet with parents. I can’t really even get steamed by this type of ignorance. It would be a waste of my precious resources. Dream forward, I say, into the future you envision with a two-tiered private school system.

    • Yea – really.
      We’re on care & maintenance where I work until the sector turns around so we’ve been cut by far more than 10%. Makes it really tough to have much sympathy for a group that makes a fine wage and has both great benefits and pensions.

  2. I guess Teachers aren’t too concerned about parents who have to miss out on work days because of this job action. But then I forget, it is all about Teachers and how ripped off they are getting with $70,000.00 – $80,000.00 a year, summers off and an unbelievable benefit package. Somehow, I just can’t feel sorry for Teachers as they make their own bed and now must lay in it.

    • Stephen you need to give your head a shake. Millions on silly things like fighting in court of constitutional rights afforded to all Canadians? Yup doesn’t get much sillier than that. What is silly is the government wasting millions of our dollars dragging out the court process. I guess they’re smart enough to force the teachers into a strike, it’s a good way for them to make some of that money back.

    • Stephen, if the BCTF was considered rogue by teachers, then that would have been reflected by a resounding NO vote to striking, which was simply not the case on two recent occasions.

      Your opinion of the BCTF being rogue holds no merit.

    • Wasting its money you mean like taking the government to court and won twice,if the Government gets a thumbs down on this appeal,then Government will have to pay all the shots including the millions they spend fighting the teachers who are the BCTF. The government was found unconstitutional and illegal. Its all find and dandy if the Government spends our money for lawyers to try and beat down a union and then on to the next union private or otherwise! Recall coming soon!

      • You’re wrong. The court will determine whether or not it was constitutional to rip up the contract and whether the union can bargain that piece. However, the contract had an expiry which has surpassed and the whole 10+ years will not be reversed. Do understand this further before you keep running your mouth.

        Lastly, answer the question – who is being recalled first? What’s with the “N”DP people and not answering questions and answering around them?

    • Have you picked your private school yet Kim…It will cost you a lot more than a tax increase, you understand that right….???!! Oh by the way, the better teachers are in the public sector,…Ask your GREAT Private school teachers where they’d rather be…If they’re truthful they’ll tell you the public sector….They’re only there becasue they can’t get in…They have no loyalty to you and your kids, if you believe they do than yor dumber than I already think…They want your money…Thats It….!!!! The scam is that the Lib’s will try their best to make you pay for a service which should be free to everyone, not just the rich…You morons have bought into the fact that us fat cat public school teachers have it easy, and all we’re doing is complaining because we want more… All these repetitive and stale comments…Never anything new…same old same old….The only poeple who are listening to you are the small group of chuckleheads who keep posting the same argument everyday…You guys should form a club…The “I have no real clue about anything, but still like to comment” Club…has a nice ring to it…!!!!

        • Great comeback Ron…Did your writers put that together for you…??Kim is a mom, and if I recollect is putting her kid in Kindergarten next year…I remember her eloquent words about public school teachers…I think it was “Garbage collectors”… Hence, why I asked if she’s picked her private school yet…??? Kim never answers though…She throw’s out stupid comments and then moves on to the next thread…Kind of like all these teacher haters on here, who when given a chance to argue my comment, never reply or comeback with brilliant statements like our friend Ron here. That a boy Ron…Brilliant as always…can somebody out there argue with my perception of Private school teachers, who if given a chance would jump ship to be in the Public school system, and leave all those rich entitled kids behind. Nope…?? I know instead post a comment like “we don’t deserve a raise”, “we get paid enough”…”The Private sector doesn’t get those benefits”…Blah Blah blah…There must be one original hater out there, that has one creative and new argument…Please…I’m almost losing interest on coming on these threads…

          • Dave, did you ever consider that it might be your arrogant and entitled attitude that could be turning people off Teachers ?? Best have a look in the mirror, Mr. Wonderful……

          • Was that supposed to be an answer to my question? Sounds kinda like someone asking Iker on Bill’s show to stop dodging and answer his question. Iker just dodged it again rambing on and on yet with no answer. And you’re losing interest?

        • The taxes that Campbell took and all the Corporate cuts are starting to show in Education and Health and the user fees up the wing wang! The rich and entitled should pay the full load for their independent schools they can afford it! Religious schools should receive a subsidy.I am tired that Tax payers money goes to subsidize the Independent schools that are filled with the entitled rich Kids as the public schools are without the technology to further the child’s success and on the same playing field as the wealthy ! Its not just about Teachers it is about what the public schools do not get in Computers, calculators etc.The same would be happening in the Independent schools also if the wealthy parents weren’t paying for it! So the public teacher do a great job even when they pay for their own supply to function within the classroom!

          • You understand economics, right spinster? Do you know that independent religious schools receive just 50% funding. The remaining amount comes from tuition, sponsorship and support from communities. For every 1 student in the public system that is funded, that’s just 2 in the independent. That actually helps the public system because if you remove the funding completely, majority of families will withdraw their child from the independent school and place them in the public school and that will place a burden on the system.

            Please do you research and understand the economics of the school systems in BC.

  3. Is it possible that teachers could strike till the end of June? Then they are off the whole summer, with no pay as they themselves say. Then they could continue their strike in September, by that time I have a feeling that some of them would need a bit of money coming in……….?!

  4. Playing devil’s advocate, If the Liberal government is as Machiavellian as the BCTF claim, I could see the government continuing a Lock Out next September. Since the BCTF have told their members of no strike pay funds, teachers are at the economic mercy of government should they close the system for the final two weeks of June and have nothing coming in over the summer. Some how I don’t believe this has been a very bright political move on the part of the BCTF.

    Also on the issue of wages, since the last round teachers have officially had zero increases in wages. They have however had periodic salary lifts. Over those year those lifts amounted to about 14%. I retired from the profession in 2007 and the salary changes since that time confirm this view.

    Teachers do work hard and long after spending a great deal of money being educated and losing years of income in the process. They should be compensated in relation to other government employee gains and enjoy a healthy benefits package.

    On Class size and composition, Teachers need to be prepared to trade salary cash for cash injection into those working and learning conditions. With declining enrollment districts need to be able to sell properties to assist with the learning conditions issue. Vancouver has a mountain of vacant space but the district continues to operate unfeasible programs and services beyond its means.

  5. I don’t see anyone asking for sympathy or a hand out. CKNW was looking for a story and asked the union president what was going on in this regard.

    What many of you posting above may not have considered is that many of these teachers in financial need may be TOCs that don’t have steady, regular income. They are also being unfairly docked 10% despite not normally having to complete the “locked out” duties as part of a TOC regular job description. We all know that many lower income earners are in a paycheque to paycheque situation here in the expensive Lower Mainland.

  6. Iker was stupidly goaded into taking a strike vote has painted himself into a financial corner. While the BCTF can’t even pony up 50 bucks a day for their members, the government saves 140 million dollars a week in teachers and CUPE salaries once hey hit the bricks. This union could have been better led by the Marx Brothers. Hey Jim- with all the money the government is going to save how about asking Christie for a payday loan LOL?

  7. Now that the BCTF has made their big play, and students and parents have all had to adjust to the screwed up end to the school year, I don’t think the gov’t has much to gain by settling before September. June is the time when the BCTF knows they can exert maximum pressure on students and parents, which they did…September will be the time when taxpayers can exert maximium pressure on the BCTF because teachers will be broke after the summer and desperate for a paycheque. That just seems like a smart negotiation strategy.

  8. I’m a full time public school teacher in BC. I made less than $43,000 this school year and up until a few weeks ago was paying my own dental benefits and MSP, with no extended health benefits. Now that i finally have benefits until june 30th, yes just 12 more days, they’re not as hot as people think (I still pay for half my MSP coverage and lots of limits and exclusions in extended health). To be honest, i had better benefits when I worked in the private sector.
    I like what I do for a living, but the working conditions are hard! Last year, I taught a 3/4 split…..12 students were ESL, 2 had ADHD and 2 had autism. 16 out of 24 had a higher need of support…..would you want your child in that class? Teachers have been without a raise since 2010. Has the cost of living increased? You bet! It’s unreasonable to expect educators not to ask for more money but if we were only about getting money for ourselves, we would have settled on a deal by now and would be in our classes finishing off the year right now.

  9. I doubt there are too many teachers who like where they are now. However, despite the legal loopholes the Liberal government has repeatedly lost their case over illegally gutting contracts. HEU took them all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and won. Now the Liberals seems intent on wasting more taxpayer money to lose there again. They fund education at the 2nd lowest rate in Canada. Pay teachers at the 3rd lowest rate, and because of the efforts of teachers BC scores 2nd or 3rd in math science and language test results in Canada. Imagine what would happen if just a little respect and money were injected! Further the current negotiations started prior to the last election. BCPSEA and BCTF were over 2/3′s of the way to an agreement when the Liberals fired the board they had appointed and replaced them with one man who then hired a negotiator (something teachers are forbidden to do by law). Then demanded 10 years at less than their so-called “pattern”. Further in 2012 it was proven the Liberals did not negotiate in good faith. It is clear the Liberals are after public education and teachers. It is clear they will do whatever they feel they can get away with and use legal tricks to avoid the consequences of their illegal actions. While you may think teachers have it easy in their job, NO ONE should have to tolerate the kind of mistreatment and illegal activity teachers have faced. Finally I would point out class size is at 1-30 for everyday learning, but the Liberals and their appointed LRB have ruled to supervise exams the ratio cannot exceed 1-25. If you have to have one supervisor for every 25 students writing an exam with no talking nothing at their desk except writing implements and no discussion, how is it acceptable to have more in a class where many more things are happening? Again an example of the attack on public education this government it carrying out.