I am writing to you on behalf of the members of the South Okanagan Retired Teachers’ Association.
At our regular March meeting it was unanimously agreed that we should express our support for our active teacher colleagues here in the Okanagan and in British Columbia.
As retired teachers, we are devastated by the bullying actions of our present provincial government.
We can understand the frustrations and anger of teachers when the kinds of social ideals and expectations teachers are to encourage in the classroom are totally ignored and abused by the Liberal MLAs of the provincial legislature.
Many of the retired teachers in our association had sacrificed family time, salary and benefit improvements, and lost wages to win the contractual rights that are now or within the last decade have been stripped from teacher contracts.
Many of the gains made in the past through the collective bargaining process were not gains for teachers but for the children they teach. Teachers have continually, in their history of public service in B.C., strived for better and improved learning conditions for students.
They have struggled daily for adequate funding for the proper support of learning opportunities for all children and for the necessary classroom resources.
Teachers have resisted Boards of Education reductions in special education services to students, to classrooms packed tightly with too many students, and for limited numbers of special needs students being place in any one class.
Teachers have urged and cajoled their employers and the government to maintain full time school library services staffed by qualified teacher librarians.
As retired teachers we want to express our sincere appreciation to our present classroom and non-enrolling professionals for the courage they are showing, for the sacrifice they are making, to attempt to better education services for all, to attempt to improve learning conditions for students, and to achieve the kind of respect and recognition for the excellent work they do.
Kids do matter and teachers do care!
South Okanagan Retired Teachers’