Public opinion remains split on teachers dispute, new poll says

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Public opinion remains split on teachers dispute, new poll says

A new survey suggests public opinion remains split on the teachers’ dispute.

In a poll conducted by Insights West and commissioned by the BC Federation of Labour, 52 per cent of people surveyed support teachers in the contract dispute, although that number jumps to 60 per cent among parents.

37 per cent said they support the government and 11 per cent are not sure.

“What was quite striking looking back at some of the surveys that we’ve done before is the fact that there are more parents of kids in the school system who is siding with B.C. teachers.”

Pollster Mario Canseco adds 76 per cent of respondents say the $40 a day promised for childcare if the strike continues should be reinvested into the school system.


You can read the full survey results here:



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  1. Tough poll to answer with “yes” or “no” ……….. I support Teachers as far as class size and composition goes but I think they are far to greedy re wages and benefits. Government should stick to its guns re the remuneration and benefits.

    • I agree, until something changes I hope the govenment sticks to their gun and drains the union dry.

      I cant believe the teachers are still saying “its for the kids” with all of their demands.

      I fully support a cost of living wage increase, everyone should get that. But i fail to grasp how the kids are winning with a 5k signing bonus and free massage, and all of the other outrageous demands the teachers / union are asking for. Until the unions comes back to reality I wont support the teachers. Christy made the right choice sending her kids to private school.

      • @ Adam

        Well keep in mind Adam that there is just a 1% difference between the BCTF and the BCPSEA as it relates to wages. In other words there must be other factors that are impeding these negotiations from going forward. With the impending court case, I think one could draw a logical solution that it is indeed classroom size and composition that is the impetus.

        In regards to the massage, I guess I have a bit of a personal story to tell. I have congenital lymphedema in my right leg. It is something that I was born with, it does not go away and there is no cure. Left untreated, the swelling could potentially impact mobility and in the worse case scenario amputation. My GP recommends two forms of ongoing treatment. I wear a compression sock daily, which 80% of it is covered by my extended health. Furthermore, I also see a certified massage therapist that specializes in lymphatic therapy. Currently my plan covers 80% of these treatments up to $1000. $3000 would certainly help my family and I financially, and it will help me maintain a healthy and active lifestyle (fingers crossed). Take Care.

        • Well @ Kirk if your extended plan is made available through your employer-consider yourself very fortunate.
          I would say majority of us do not have a plan nor could we afford one privately. So it’s a bit much to take our taxes aimed at education and use it to beef up the teachers benefits and perks that already far beyond what the majority of us get.

          • @ Kelly

            Sounds like your employer is not interested in the well-being of their employees. You and your co-workers should discuss that the next time your contract is up. Cheers!

          • I so agree with you Kelly! I have really good benefits (not as good as the teachers are demanding) and I KNOW how lucky I am. I am glad the union I belong to is reasonable, given the difficult economic times. Where does the BCTF think all this money comes from? And I hear they are involved politically, that they are anti-pipeline etc. So they want all their high monetary demands to come from the taxpayer! That really irks me!!!

          • @ Elizabeth

            It sounds like teachers should be bringing you up to their standards rather than them coming down to your standards. If health and well-being is something you truly believe in then I would totally support you in your right for that. I am sorry, but I support teachers in this. Health is important to me.

            Speaking of which, what do you think of the recent ICBC hikes by 5.2%, or BC Hydro rates increasing by 28 % in the past 5 years or the 4 % BC Ferry service fee hike. Man you must really want the BC Liberals out of government.

  2. I do not know where these polls get their pro teacher figures. I do not believe this group has public support. They do have working parents who want their kids back in school, not as much for the schooling as the sitter situation. How many times in 30 to 40 years has this group agreed with any school board or gov;t Black mail is black mail no matter how you try to pretty it up.

  3. Polls are for losers . . . and thanks to the inept leadership of Mr Iker . . . the teachers have lost big time on this one. No matter what they get for an increase . . . and it will likely be very close to the govt proposal . . . it will take years to get back what they have lost.

    Strikes are soooo 80s . . . if the labor movement does not wake up to that fact, if they continue down the socialist highway of failure . . . their future in the 21st century will be dim.

  4. How do All union members that belong to the BC FED feel about their dues money being spent on radio ads slaging the Govt and supporting the BCTF ?
    The thousands of dollars wasted on these ads would be better used supporting children in the classrooms.

    • As opposed to TOIFA-type events, the BC FED is spending its own money. If you are not a member, it is none of your business. But when a government wastes money, it is our money and our business.

      • “the BC FED is spending its own money” ?

        The BC fed is spending members’ money . . . it promotes a spectrum of politics that is Failing ALL over the World. They do not have the intelligence to change course. Their member unions and union membership are suffering as they address social and political issues . . . and ignore much of their own membership.
        This is not new . . . it has been going on for decades . . . as private sector unions shrink and merge.

        The next big problem is going to be with the Public Sector . . . as cities, municipalities and provinces/state governments all over North America find out they have woefully underestimated the costs of Boomers Pensions.
        Could there be a Detroit or Stockton in your future? Time will tell . . .

  5. Ken…so you want BCFED dues to be given to government to improve education system? Isn’t that the government job? Only question I have for all that support the government position is…explain to public how 75 million per in funding for special need kids would help system. That’s with no increase per year over 5 years. Take all the special need kids in the system and divide that into 75 million. What that means is a system where on set may get funding one year at one school and then not the next year. For those of you that want the teachers to give up any wage increases to pay for special need funding….please tell me how many times other professions are asked to do this.

  6. I wondered where this poll came from! It certainly did not sound right to me, especially knowing many parents and taxpayers views are very much against this contract demand from the BCTF. The teachers are paying the price for this union and the BC Fed opposing the current government. Really, their opposition to ANY government of the day, including the NDP when they were in office. This “poll” coming out this morning, just before the meeting in Victoria as well as the ads by the BC Fed are all designed to put pressure on the government and bully them into doing what they want. They won’t be happy until THEY run the government and if that happened we would really be on the road to ruin!
    I support the government on this issue. The BCTF demands are so completely outrageous and they know it. It is by design. As far as class room size and composition, I support the employers position and further, I think it is the ONLY position the government can support. The issue regarding class size and composition, contrary to what the BCTF are saying , and in my opinion after reading the issues at the employer’s website, revolve around control. BCTF wishes to control almost every aspect of the employers right to govern the entire school system and especially regarding class size and composition. The employers have the right to determine in each district in consultation with their staff just what is needed, where and when. Not the BCTF.
    I hope Peter Cameron sticks to HIS guns and the government supports that position . They need to tell the BCTF to get to business and sign a contract, so teachers can do their jobs.
    Teachers are suffering financially while the BCTF enjoy uninterrupted pay and lollygagged all summer long.
    If this keeps up, they will bankrupt most teachers and if they had their way they would bankrupt the entire province. BC Fed needs a wake up call as well. The money spent on these tactics are much better spent where they belong, in the teachers pay packet.

    • It is unfortunate that polls like these keep feeding misinformation about public support to BCTF. I highly doubt the credibility of this survey which is based on a small sample of population of less than 1,000. This union has to come back to reality from fantasy island. Until then, kids suffer and families are hurt.

    • Careen, I agree with everything you said. And, class sizes should be determined by need, ie, how many special needs students are in a class, if the children are young children or teenagers etc. A blanket edict dictating that NO class can be more than 30 will cost the taxpaying public unnecessarily and will NOT provide a better education in all cases!

  7. Had your say Coreen…..good to see Liberal workers using their time wisely…better not be my taxpayer money paying you to comment on news articles like this. We all know the accuracy of polls…Global and CTV have done polls….same numbers. Parents want class size and composition. ..not a token 75 million which schools have to batyle for and leqves leaves many out in the cold without funding for their special need students.

  8. Can someone who works in private sectors tell me how often they get signing bonus when extend the contract? if teachers feel underpaid, then leave for high-pay job somewhere else. Any union jobs should have competition, at least 5% should be fired each year, and bring young people in. that way, if you paid a million a year, I have no problem with that.

    • If teaching is such a terrible job why is there a huge surplus of teachers! I would LOVE to have all that time off and good pay and excellent benefits! I really “love” the pro-D days; if most people want to “develop” themselves they have to accomplish this in their own time.

  9. You want this strike to end? Get the Government to drop its Opt Out clause in its “proposal”

    It wants “permission” from the teachers (via this Opt Out clause) to be able to ignore the SCBC ruling if it goes against it for a THIRD time.

    Drop that clause and this could be done in a day.