Vancouver teachers and other staff aren’t thrilled they could be forced to cough up $20/month to park at work.
Vancouver School Board Chair Mike Lombardi says senior management recommend the fee to generate another $175,000 a year.
“They said they’re not interested in paying $20 to park when they feel an important part of coming to school as a teacher is being able to come unload your box of marking and the equipment that you bring in, and if you start charging them for that, they’ll go out and park on the street.”
Lombardi said the same idea was floated last year but tossed after trustees felt it would be bad for teacher morale.
“No other employee pays for parking anywhere in British Columbia in a school district. We will be the first if this goes ahead.”
The proposed $20/month fee is lower than the $35 pitched during last year’s budget crunch.
The measure is one of a series of proposed fees, program cuts, and job losses the district is looking at as it seeks to make up a $27-million budget shortfall.
President of Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association, Rory Brown isn’t on board with employees paying a proposed monthly parking fee.
“It’s disappointing and ridiculous to expect teachers or any other workers in the education system to basically subside the education system. And really, it puts in jeopardy the transaction of goodwill that occurs in schools.”
Brown says teachers have enough on their plate.
“Some people may argue that a lot of other people in our world pay for parking but there aren’t a lot of workers in our culture who are expected and happily volunteer so much of their time after school.”
He also adds safety is an issue.
“I also think of the people who are coaching teams late into the evening, there’s a safety issue for a teacher walking down the block to their car that’s parked on the street and that’s the kind of thing that teachers will be doing.”
Brown says although the proposed charge will generate extra income, it puts in jeopardy “the transaction of goodwill” in schools.