Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Outrageous wage demands

As of today, the governments in the provinces of B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island, are working on contract negotiations with the teachers. No signed contracts in force presently. Teacher contracts are a hard sell in all 10 provinces.

Alberta's present contract ending in 2015, is  a four year contract, with three years of frozen wages and a two per cent raise and a cash bonus in the fourth year. Saskatchewan's last contract ending in 2013, was a four year contract with a 5.5 per cent wage increase. Manitoba's last contract ending in 2013, was a four year contract with a 7.5 per cent wage increase. Ontario's present contract ending in 2014, is a two year contract with frozen wages. Quebec's present contract ending in 2015, is a five year contract, with a 5.6 per cent wage increase. Nova Scotia's present contract ending in 2015, is a three year contract with a 5.5 per cent wage increase. Newfoundland's last contract ending in 2012, was a four year contract with a wage increase of five per cent. Prince Edward Island's last contract ending in 2013, was a two year contract with frozen wages. New Brunswick's present contract ending in 2016, is a four year contract with a wage increase of four per cent.

Here in B.C., the government is offering the teachers a 10 year contract, with a 7.25 per cent wage increase over the first six years, with further open wage negotiations, in written form, after six years on the remaining four years.

Not good enough for B.C. teachers. They want a wage increase of 13.5 per cent over a three year contract.

Not good enough for the B.C. taxpayer. The average B.C. teacher wage is $89,624 per year ($70,624 in wages and $18,000 in taxpayer funded benefits). The B.C. taxpayer also contributes 16.13 per cent of teacher wages to the B.C. teachers' pension fund. All in all, a very generous salary and benefit package when teachers only have to work 188 days per year in relation to other taxpayers in the non teaching profession that have to work 238 days per year. Completely outrageous wage demands in comparison to what teachers have negotiated in the other nine provinces.

Joe Sawchuk

Duncan, B.C

 

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