Seasons Greetings

Dear John,

In the spirit of the season of peace and goodwill, let’s talk about being friends again, shall we?

But first you’ve got to reconfigure BCPSEA.

Their actions as your bargaining agent with teachers do not reflect progressive values about public education. 

I would have expected a BC Liberal government to demand concessions at the start of bargaining, not you.

I would have expected a BC Liberal government to continue Foundation Skills Assessments, certainly not you, after the many years you agreed with teachers about the FSA’s inefficacy. 

It’s the style of the Fraser Institute to promote ideas like the prevalence model of funding, turning students’ learning needs into probability statistics.

The last thing I expected was all this from a BCNDP ministry of education. 

john-horgan-29-april-2017
Surrey teachers meet with Horgan during 2017 election. Credit: Julia MacRae

And then there’s the matter of our Supreme Court of Canada win.

For 14 years you stood by our side as an ally in our legal fight against the stripping of our Constitutional rights. 

Fourteen years!

And then, when teachers won, instead of acknowledging that struggle, you claimed the court-ordered hiring of 4,000 new teachers as your government’s idea.

That hurt. 

A lot.

It hurt so much that for the longest time we did not want to even look at our win from your point of view: your new government was saddled with the bill for the actions of all BC Liberal governments since 2002. You had to spend a billion dollars to clean up the mess that you did not make.

I now acknowledge that, and the spending on seismic upgrades, the opening of new schools.  Smaller class sizes and more schools are good BCNDP achievements for public education in our province.

But, can we talk about being the lowest paid teachers west of Quebec?

Can we talk about recruitment and retention with a bargaining agent that shares our values of public education being a sacred trust, of public education being the heartbeat of every community, of public education being about all of our futures?

These are values we believed you shared with us, the teachers in public schools in BC. They do not seem to be the values shared by the current configuration of BCPSEA.

So, in this time of season turning, of endings and of new beginnings, let’s be friends again … after you’ve realigned BCPSEA with BCNDP values.

With best wishes for the season,

Lizanne

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