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Old 07-31-2013, 09:23 PM   #26
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I've got five friends who are currently teachers, three of which just graduated and have already been assigned classes to teach for next year. I know a lot of new teachers struggle to find even a semi-stable substitute position but it seems like there are more than a few teachers retiring, allowing fresh blood to come in.

That said, all of the new teachers (my five friends, along with a few of their other teacher buddies) all hate the BCTF and how much they can get hamstrung by going over their head. It seems like the ones who are in favour of the BCTF are the old timers.
Of course old timers will support the union. The union protect them from getting fire and replace by younger, hotter looking, more energetic new teachers.

I got a frd who is a teacher. A few years ago she was just on call with unknown hours barely scraping by. After a few years she finally got offer a full time position.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:24 PM   #27
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I have friends that are in teachers as well (in positions like Lomac's friends) and yes, there are issues with the BCTF.

My concern is how the gov't is handling the situation. The teachers should chose their representatives...not the gov't.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:16 PM   #28
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I'm not saying BCTF is a model union that everyone should praise on the high altar. But the current negotiation issue is an entirely separate thing from whether BCTF is good or not. Just because BCTF is a control freak in some ways doesn't mean they deserve to have their negotiation rights violated.

Additionally, despite all of BCTF's fault, to say they are completely worthless and a parasite to the BC education system is definitely going too far. In this recent round of negotiations, there is a lot of perfectly legitimate demands that the BCTF is making. Things like class sizes, (the lack of) special needs support are 2 of the bigger ones that has been continually neglected by the Ministry. So don't consider it as the prime evil in the BC education system because the Ministry itself is probably responsible for as many of the woes as the BCTF.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:37 PM   #29
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:43 PM   #30
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I'm not saying BCTF is a model union that everyone should praise on the high altar. But the current negotiation issue is an entirely separate thing from whether BCTF is good or not. Just because BCTF is a control freak in some ways doesn't mean they deserve to have their negotiation rights violated.

Additionally, despite all of BCTF's fault, to say they are completely worthless and a parasite to the BC education system is definitely going too far. In this recent round of negotiations, there is a lot of perfectly legitimate demands that the BCTF is making. Things like class sizes, (the lack of) special needs support are 2 of the bigger ones that has been continually neglected by the Ministry. So don't consider it as the prime evil in the BC education system because the Ministry itself is probably responsible for as many of the woes as the BCTF.
From my perspective as a past student of a public school, I do see it as one of the misfortunes of the BC education system. I have been denied educational resources (which I am legally entitled to), as well as extra-curricular activities as a student because of heavy-handed selfish policies that have been established by a union that barely represents the interests of the teachers they so-called represent to push their own agendas.

I will hardly call actively cutting down resources available for students for the sole reason of bargaining power in negotiations is 'for the good of kids of BC.' There was a long strike a couple years ago, which threw a whole graduating year of grade 12 students of BC into a mess which jeopardized their ability to apply for certain post secondary institutions.

For a union that heavily promotes 'for a brighter future for kids', they frequently throw the kids into the fire as a tactic to convince the government.

BCTF is supposed represent the voice of all the teachers in BC. Instead, it under represent new members and heavily favors those with seniority.

The BCTF takes a large presence in BC's education system which is designed to provide educational resources and opportunities to kids. Having them consistently failed to do that makes them nothing more than a parasite to the system.

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:31 AM   #31
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Geoc,

I cannot and will not invalidate your first hand experience in high school, but I do hope you can see that at least on certain issues, the BCTF is not as unworthy as you may think. Additionally, I do not think the blame should be placed solely on the union either. The provincial government is often at as much fault as the union as well.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #32
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But see, that's where I think the BCTF is going about it the wrong way. Instead of throwing the equivalent of a temper tantrum and restrict their own members ability to help kids after class with homework or doing extracurricular activities, they should encourage their members to do all that extra work. This way they can come back to the government and the public and say, "Look at all this extra work we're doing to help the young children of BC despite the fact that they're trying to screw us over by ramming legislation and whatnot down our throats. We're here for your children as our first priority." That way if the province does end up forcing them to sign a deal that's not beneficial to them, they will then have the sympathy card to play with the general public. All they've done so far in the past is say, "Screw you" to their students and expect the public to take their side.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #33
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Lomac,

I understand what you are saying, but in a lot of ways, teachers have already been doing what you were suggesting. The problem is, when they continue to go about doing their jobs and extracurricular stuff despite the province's steadfast refusal to compromise, the majority of parents and the general public think everything is going just fine and dandy, so they don't give a flipping shxt about the inequities that are happening at public schools.

I personally know a hs teacher that does course scheduling for his school, and for the multi-month work and planning that he puts into the task, he gets compensated from the school board for 3 flipping days. I don't even know why he bothers taking on the task when he is clearly getting ripped off.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #34
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But see, that's where I think the BCTF is going about it the wrong way. Instead of throwing the equivalent of a temper tantrum and restrict their own members ability to help kids after class with homework or doing extracurricular activities, they should encourage their members to do all that extra work. This way they can come back to the government and the public and say, "Look at all this extra work we're doing to help the young children of BC despite the fact that they're trying to screw us over by ramming legislation and whatnot down our throats. We're here for your children as our first priority." That way if the province does end up forcing them to sign a deal that's not beneficial to them, they will then have the sympathy card to play with the general public. All they've done so far in the past is say, "Screw you" to their students and expect the public to take their side.
Totally disagree.

There is a difference between whats included and whats extra. So if teachers do a bunch of stuff during these negotiations and don't use that as a bargaining chip, it becomes de facto standard.

And make no doubt, it SUCKS for the students probably as much as it sucks for the teachers. When I was in High School a lot of teachers spent a lot of their time doing stuff that made for a fun experience. I doubt they do that because it will look good as a negotiation tactic. They do it for their own enjoyment as well.

Honestly, I rally dislike most union bullshit and even I have to give a little support back to the teachers. I don't think they do it for the money, and I certainly don't consider them overpaid. I think they have had the government cut away on their say on class sizes and many other things that I would believe the teachers should have more say in rather than the government-for the simplest reason being that they are actually in the damned classroom.

The government here is playing a game of "budget first" in terms of negotiations.

I can see going into a negotiation in good faith and not being able to come to an agreement. And I can see saying, "we've tried. We need to table it, and we're legislating in the contract"

But to do it every single time? No man. Occasionally, you need to be able to work this out fair and square.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #35
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I think most members of the public don't really care what the government does as long as it means that their kids are going to school and report cards are being written.

The provincial government knows this and it's why they're playing hardball. Most people aren't unionized and are being underpaid, so they're more than happy to fan the flames and have the internet and the media label teachers as overpaid and entitled. It's shitty for teachers (and for anyone else who believes in negotiating contracts), but it's wonderful politics.

Man, am I cynical today...
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #36
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^^
You are not being cynical just for the sake of being so. You are spot on because that's exactly how it is -- most people don't give a shxt as long as their kids are going to school and report cards are getting sent back 3 times a year.

Conservative groups and those coming from countries with poor labour laws, in particular, are especially ignorant when it comes to workers going on strike. I can never understand why, but it almost seems like their mindsets have been hard wired to think that "strike = bad" when they have no idea how the employer is treating their staff.
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