This morning, I’ve already gone through stages of sadness, frustration, determination, heartache, worry, despondency, and hope.
I should be at work. But I’m not. And, for once, I’m going to say what many of you have been wanting to hear: this isn’t just about the kids. They’re directly affected by it, but for me, it’s not only about them.
This is about government manipulation. It’s about a government who is holding themselves above the law and attempting to circumvent it rather than admitting to past mistakes. It all sounds very conspiracy theory. But it’s not. Nothing about their plans is hidden.
The stumbling block in current negotiations is called E80. If teachers agreed to E80 – which offers significantly less for class size and composition than TWO supreme court rulings say they are entitled to – they essentially lose their previous court victories. These victories are really, honestly, truly for the kids. Seriously.
So, why won’t the government move off of E80? Because if they agree to any more funding than what they’re currently offering, they could be viewed as admitting wrongdoing, which would weaken their appeal of the BCTF’s two previous court rulings.
And they don’t want to lose that appeal. They’re content with spending tax dollars to fight against teachers’ Charter rights and kids’ education. Again.
Their refusal to increase funding for class size and composition isn’t about a lack of funding. It can’t be when their $40/day scheme costs $12 million a day and will quickly exceed the amount that the teachers have on the table for an entire year’s worth of classroom improvements.
So this fight isn’t all about the kids. It’s about our province. It’s about a government who’s trying to get the public and their own employees to agree that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn’t matter.
And, know what? I don’t agree.
Yeah, I would rather be working today. And tomorrow. And all school days forever more, never to strike again. But I’m not. And I’m not happy about it for a lot of reasons. But the biggest reason? The fact that I’m on strike because my own government is trying to get me to sign away my legal rights. And that doesn’t sit well. At all.