I am writing in response to the article "Teachers will take strike vote next week" (Coast Reporter, Feb. 28).
Ms. Wood's opening sentence is not true. Teachers are having a strike vote to put pressure on the government to bring a reasonable offer to the table, not because the government is going to waste more of the taxpayers' money on an appeal.
Teachers continue to try to get smaller class size and better learning conditions for students. In the article, lead government negotiator Peter Cameron tries to make teachers look like they are not bargaining. We have put forth a salary position, which we believe is reasonable. What we do not think is reasonable is that our students are underfunded by about $1,000 each when compared to the rest of Canada, and our teacher-student ratio is one of the worst as well.
I would like Education Minister Peter Fassbender to fund education properly, so we can give students more individual attention. We need full-time teacher-librarians and specialist teachers. We need smaller class sizes in all classrooms, and particularly, for safety reasons, in the shops and science labs. Instead of the government hiring a high price law firm to represent them for yet another appeal, why don't they put the taxpayers' money where it should go, into education?
As a teacher and a parent, I am not happy with the lack of funding for education. The government must stop making the school boards responsible for paying the wage increases of its CUPE and BCTF employees, causing cuts to student services. I urge all parents to contact the Ministry of Education and insist they stop the appeal and put back proper class size and support for our children.
Susan Mearns, Gibsons
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