Two Langley Education Centre teachers react to honks of support on Monday morning. Teachers picketed the school board office and Langley Secondary with plans to escalate picketing this week.

Editorial — Two sides to blame for likelihood of no school on Tuesday

Students should be in classrooms Tuesday — not used as political pawns by the BC Liberal government and the B.C. Teachers Federation.

Given that the dispute between the B.C. Teachers Federation and the employer, which for all intents and purposes is the provincial government, has dragged on for months, it seems quite likely there will be no classes on Tuesday, and into the foreseeable future.

This is completely unacceptable. There is no shortage of blame to go around, but it is the two primary parties in the dispute who have brought public school students and their parents to this sad state of affairs.

At one time, the BC Liberal government banned strikes by teachers, saying that using students as pawns in a labour dispute was unacceptable. That was a move that met with considerable public support. However, teachers disregarded the ban and went on strike in 2005, and actually gained considerable public sympathy, partly due to the fact that the BC Liberals had torn up part of their existing contract, and partly due to the fact that their emphasis was on class size and composition.

That’s the emphasis again, and this time the strike is perfectly legal. However, students have already suffered considerable damage, due to most of June being a write-off from an education perspective. Now it appears that the first part of September, and maybe the whole month, won’t be any different. A $40 a day payment to parents of younger students is no recompense.

The public has absolutely no control over the BCTF, and any discipline to be handed out there must be done by BCTF members, if enough of them disagree with the union executive’s actions in continuing this strike.

The public does have at least a measure of control over the provincial government. The ability to recall MLAs exists, although it is very difficult to do. If the government doesn’t start showing a lot more concern for students’ education, and actually  move heaven and earth to get classrooms open, it would be appropriate for parents in all ridings held by Liberal MLAs to look into starting recall campaigns.

The fact is, neither side is taking students’ education all that seriously. They are treating this as a political fight — something both the BCTF and BC Liberals excel at.

The education system exists so students can have a brighter future as adults. It’s high time they were back in class.

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Coast Guard vessel open for second day of public tours on Alberni waterfront

Talk to marine scientists, learn about research equipment on CCGS Vector

Port Alberni walks for World Food Day

John Paul II Catholic School students walked to end world hunger

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land on Stamp Avenue for its expansion

Two Port Alberni cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Leaf Compassion and Cannabis Club ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Most Read