Dirty tricks

While I don’t generally agree with many of the statements made by Joan Erb on behalf of the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association — I will concede that people are getting a little wound up about the BCTF asking for a 20 per cent wage increase.

While I don’t generally agree with many of the statements made by Joan Erb on behalf of the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association — I will concede that people are getting a little wound up about the BCTF asking for a 20 per cent wage increase.

Like any negotiation,  you can always amend your offer but you can’t go up once you drop that initial gauntlet. It’s simply a starting point … although asking for a 20 per cent wage increase at a time when so many taxpayers are struggling just to keep their boats afloat seems somewhat arrogant.

On the other hand, people need to act in their own best interest, however it looks to the rest of us.

What I do take serious offence to is the BCTF and the CCTA telling us that, in phase one of job action, teachers will continue to “volunteer” for extra-curricular activities. I have never understood how these “volunteer” activities get to be a political football — or in my case, a rugby ball, every time teacher-wage negotiations come along. Along with many other non-teachers in our community, I have spent many years (10 of them, in fact) volunteering to coach a school team for exactly the same amount of compensation that a teacher gets … nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true … you do get the incredible sense of satisfaction that comes from contributing positively to the life of some young people, and winning a few titles and having your players go on to play for B.C. and Canada and, and, and … let’s just say it’s pretty rewarding and those who do it, regardless of their employer, know what I mean. The key word is “volunteer.” No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to coach or organize extra-curricular activities. It’s not part of the collective agreement or the prescribed curriculum — hence the name — and shouldn’t even be mentioned as part of the negotiations. Those members of the CCTA who choose to volunteer their time do so out of the goodness of their heart and hopefully out of a sense of community.

I hate to see the union cheapening these volunteer contributions by holding them up as part of a potential strike action. Say whatever they want, a statement like that is all about applying political pressure … it’s never about “the kids.”

Dean Fulton is a freelance columnist for the Tribune and a local musician.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Joe Alphonse
OP-ED: Williams Lake municipal, regional councils lack awareness on historical trauma

Systemic racism isn’t always obvious to those that are not experiencing it

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Most Read