Teachers’ union has supported education

As a teacher, I was often asked by students how to respond to a bully. Most often, I said, “Walk away, smiling, saying ‘Have a nice day’.”

Dear Editor:

As a teacher, I was often asked by students how to respond to a bully.  Most often, I said, “Walk away, smiling, saying ‘Have a nice day’.”

The reality is responding to a bully often just plays into their hand. It is with that knowledge that I respond to the offending comments, and bullying, that I believe Andy Thomsen committed in your publication.

In an effort to focus on the facts and avoid vicious rhetoric like, “collect about $40 million a year in taxpayer-funded union dues” or “ridiculous increases in salaries and benefits,” which Mr. Thomsen tosses about, I will stick to information, statistics, and facts that can be verified.

First, the B.C. government has lost several Supreme Court cases regarding the ripping up of contracts with evil unions. While not another court loss, the B.C. government settled out of court (for $30 million) with Boss Energy over shady moves regarding mining licensing.

The contract provisions that the government stripped from teachers were protections for class size, the number of special needs students assigned to each classroom, the number of librarians, counsellors, and other support teachers.

The evil union has spent a great deal of teacher money (deducted from our pay cheques) to pay for legal costs, fighting this government, to return funding to school districts so students can have supports they once did.

Thank you Mr. Thomsen for telling teachers that spending their money fighting an illegal act that hurt kids was wrong and greedy.

The reforms in education are nothing more than carefully worded spin to convince the public that spending money on public education is not as worthy as a roof on a stadium, or legal bills, or corporate tax cuts.

The statistics show some interesting things about retired teachers.

These are people that Mr. Thomsen makes the most disparaging of remarks about.

In the 2009 report on the Stats Canada Survey on Volunteering, “top volunteers” gave 14.25 hours a week to causes.

Retired teachers in the Thompson-Okanagan gave 31 hours a week to causes.  Clearly, a few retired teachers made the grade.

Why does Mr. Thomsen have such an issue with retired teachers running for the board of education?

Would he be as disgusted if retired bankers or business people ran for The Chamber of Commerce?

Would it be inappropriate for retired physicians or nurses to run for the local hospital board? That, unfortunately, isn’t a possibility, since the B.C. Liberals did away with health boards and replaced them with appointed authorities.

I submit two questions for your readers, and perhaps, for Mr. Thomsen. First, would great teachers make bad trustees? Second, do you realize the amazing contribution that retired teachers make to your community?

Kevin Epp

Okanagan-Skaha Teachers’ Union

Penticton

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read