Frustrated teachers gather for townhall meeting

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

As frustrations grow amongst parents, teachers and students about the current teacher strike and negotiations with the government, a large group of Vancouver individuals gathered for a townhall to express their thoughts and discuss.

MLA for Vancouver Point-Grey David Eby turned to twitter to call for an Emergency teacher strike meeting for parents, kids and public education supporters. It was standing room only as a large group of parents, teachers, and students gathered together.

At this meeting, they took to the mic for two hours sharing stories and emotions.

Leila Khodarahmi is a teacher and broke down describing her struggles with the current system.

“But it’s not about salary, it’s about the fact that I went into this profession all gung-ho to help these kids and I am seeing this system fail.”

Other teachers went further to say they’re at the point where they are now asking parents who want to help to send food cards.

Eby says being raised by a teacher has affected him personally.

“I think that the government must not understand that the overwhelming number of British Columbians support a strong education system.”

Comments

  1. Good God Eby. Have you gone off the deep end. I thought you had a clue. Do you honestly believe it’s about the children. I ill lay odds they will not agree to funding designated to be used directly to the children’s betterment.
    I really want to Puke when I see those signs saying its for the kids. How about they give up some of those OVER THE TOP BENEFITS they receive and help the kids. Civil service benefits are way out of line, but in the BCTF they are WAYYY OUT.
    Christy please don’t let us ordinary people down. Send the BCTF packing and then talk to the teachers.

    • You sound spiteful and uninformed about what this strike is about. Yes it is about wages, but more importantly it’s about class size composition – these are a teachers working conditions. You can ignore the truth; you can shot the messenger, but that will not give BC a respectable educational system.

      • Lorax get off the class size band wagon, it is wearing thin. During my five years of high school, class size ranged from 23 to31. No one complained and our grade 13 graduation % was acceptable. If the teachers are pro’s and the parents supportive it is amazing what kids can do. Unfortunately , these days neither of these factors are very much in evidence.

    • Okay Al since you so knowledgeable about the benefits. …list them off. Your last line shows you know nothing. …talk to teachers directly…they are the ones getting these over the top benefits. .so.why would you want to deal with them?

  2. Good post Al. I totally agree.
    Let the BCTF give up the stupid stuff in their demands and find a way to reduce their share of the education costs. That may include giving up other benefits they currently enjoy.
    Then there will be money in the budget to address class size and composition.
    It was the union leaders that torpedoed the negotiations in demanding specific mediator without bothering to see if he was available.
    And if teachers end up in food bank line-ups they have nobody to blame but their own union.

    • You are right, they have nobody to blame but themselves. The big question is, will they? Sooner or later Teachers are going to have to look within.
      It will be interesting to see what the Teachers settle on, as compared to what was on the Table when they shut down the school system. I’m betting it will be very similar. All those lost school days and wages for little or nothing.
      Just look back at last negotiations. What did you gain for that Strike?
      Seems to me there was a lot of Teachers upset at that waste of time and money.
      Yet they keep following this Union.

  3. Well Eby, I was raised by a teacher too – one who loved her career choice every day. She always hoped reason would prevail but still saw this day when the BCTF would hijack the true joys, challenges and passion of teaching and replace it with the “we are entitled to everything that will make our job easy because we are raising your children and the next generation” mentality. She would come home from a union meeting furious at how they worked fellow teachers into a frenzy beacause the were told time after time how terribly they were treated by the wicked employer. She simply stopped going to the meetings because disagreement or a sense of reality was not an option. She was a much happier teacher when she chose to avoid union rage. If you want to hear the other side that’s equally emotional as the one in the above story, take some side to hear the less vocal stories from the many teacher who haven’t been sucked in by the BCTF’s deceit.

  4. The teachers have been “played” by the radicals in the BCTF for Decades now . . . who gave away all their dues to the useless Dippers and now they are broke. Time for the majority in the BCTF to take their union back.
    Perhaps its time for the “Closed Shop” mentality to change, to let freedom and choice take its place.

    • Dale, it’s always the radicals that set the agenda. This is not unique to teachers, it also applies to political parties, including the NDP and the Liberals – who sets their agenda?

      • You would know all about Radicals Lor . . .

        The radicals in the NDP refused to remove “Socialist” from the Dipper Constitution a year or two ago . . . as you and I both know . . . Socialism is a DISMAL failure all over the world . . . but the loons think it might work next time . . . LOL

        Balancing the books and keeping taxes low are considered “Radical” by the far-left Radicals . . . but of course if you want to have jobs and a productive economy, normal folks call that Common Sense ! ! !

  5. People it is time for some empathy.
    Imagine you [a teacher] bargain in good faith to improve your working conditions and your students’ learning conditions. School Board negotiators tell your bargaining team to make a choice: class size and composition contract language OR a raise. This is put to a membership vote and the majority vote for improved class size and composition language rather than a wage increase.
    Now imagine you sign the contract and shake hands with your employers…you have made a mutually agreed to and signed off, legally binding deal.
    Down the road a new Liberal Government decides to strip out the language that you gave up wages for. Naturally, living in this great country of Canada you know the this BC Government has violated your Canadian Charter Rights. You sue; you win. [April 2012 BC SC Judge Griffin decision]. subsequently the naughty/now guilty Liberal Government is given one year to address the “repercussions” of violating 42,000 British Columbians’ Charter Rights.
    Instead of reinstating or compensating for the “stolen/stripped” contract language, the ill advised Liberal “team” decides to re-strip the language [thereby violating 42,000 British Columbians' Charter rights all over again] AND what is worst, they were further cited in this decision for “bargaining in bad faith” with BC Teachers[BC SC Judge Griffin's February 2014 decision]

    Your employer for a second time is found guilty of violating your rights and for a second time delays compensating you for this wrong [by appealing the second decision using taxpayer money [yours] to delay and deny justice to you and your colleagues].
    Come on now people, you would be a little frustrated and angry after treatment like that by your own government. You might even attend a town hall meeting to express that frustration.
    Teachers ARE different than other BC public sector unions. BC teachers have been “ripped off” twice and nothing is being done about it.

      • Ron you can “buy” whatever you want.
        As for my “version” of the events, I was at that bargaining table where money was left on the table [given up] for class size and composition contract language.

    • @Mike- an open mind would accept your overview of the facts. I hope that translates into a win for the teachers via the judicial system. I am buoyed by the fact that the SCOC, in its recent FN decision, accepts a broader view of the interpretation of our laws, rights and freedoms.

      I cannot even begin to comprehend a society where the quality of education received by our children is based entirely on the state of our provincial finances. Education is an investment in our future and must be more immune from economic and financial cycles than stadium roofs, toll-free highways, professional soccer practice fields and TOIFA events.

  6. Since it is probably true that the $1200 signing bonus is off the table (as of midnight June 30), as threatened by the government, it is arguable that teachers are fighting for resolution of CS and CC—-Not salaries and benefits.

    This would dispel a lot of rhetoric claiming that teachers are all about salaries and benefits and not about CS and CC. Just consider the significant movement of the BCTF in its demands (use whatever numbers you want) where it is within 1-1.5 percent of the government offer which has hardly moved-if at all.

    It’s time teachers were taken seriously if they are seemingly prepared to forego a signing bonus. They deserve due credit for calling the government for tying an offer to an arbitrary deadline. What is so significant about a June 30 deadline when the government was deriding teachers for not agreeing to bargain during the summer break if an agreement could not be reached by school end?

    The answer may be that the government wanted to maximize financial hardship on teachers by straining out the negotiations as far down the road as possible.

  7. It is hard for average working people to have empathy for teachers and their union who think they deserve more than other workers. Teachers live in their own world. Did I mention a $5,000 signing bonus, thousands of dollars for massage therapy and they want the taxpayer to top up maternity leave to their full salary.
    I hope the government holds firm and does not legislate back to work in the fall.

Leave a Reply