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

 

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: A cure for anger

We say, “Purge it up, goofballs.”

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Sparks fly after dirt bike accident near Tulameen

Trail society says the RDOS should have prevented crash

Cutest pet contest winner: Abi

Cutest pet in the South Okanagan-Similkameen winner for July 13

Contest: Send us your cute pet photos

Email us photos of your pets in the South Okanagan-Similkameen

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Vernon writers launch online workshop for teens, young adults

Storymakers’ Raise Your Voice workshop seeks to help women writers uncover and use voice

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

Most Read