Teachers must be patient

The minister of education is telling teachers that pay raises will come when the world crises turns around, but they want everything now.

In reply to comments made by Robert Bogunovic.  The education budget in B.C. for 2012-2013 is $14.7 billion with taxpayer population of 4,510,858, Alberta for 2012-2013 is $7.1 billion with taxpayer population of 3,724,832, Ontario for 2012-2013 is $24 billion with taxpayer population of 13,210,667.  Paycheque tax rates for B.C. is 5.06%, Ontario is 5.05% and Alberta is 10.0%.  Teachers highest paid in Ontario because of the number of taxpayers, Alberta next because of the high tax deductions and B.C. in third.

You teachers can accumulate sick days and receive a lump sum payment upon retirement for sick days not used.  In some cases, this could total $44,000.  Your fellow taxpayers in regular private jobs don’t have this benefit.

In one year, $337,805,545 was paid to the B.C. teachers pension plan.  This was $104,725,123 more than the total of all B.C. school employees total remittance to Canada Revenue for Canada Pension plan, both employer and employee, Employment Insurance, both employer and employee, and Income Tax deductions totalling $233,080,422.  Remember the employer portion is the B.C. taxpayer.  Of all benefit payments, 37% of the total goes to the B.C. teachers pension plan.

The present BCTF tv commercial shows that B.C. teachers are number 9 in wages in Canada.  This is bogus and propaganda and should be removed.  Calgary Herald, Feb 8, 2012 headline:  Alberta teacher talks breakdown.  Talks began in September, 2011, and will not continue until after the spring 2012 provincial election.  Alberta government is asking for a teacher wage freeze with zero increase.

Ontario government is proposing teacher wage freeze with zero increase.

You teachers work 188 days per year after all professional days, stat holidays, xmas and easter breaks, and summer holidays.  Us regular taxpayers, work 238 days after stat holidays, and maybe get 15 days of annual vacation.  Your B.C. Pension Plan contribution is about 24% per month based on your salary with 13% of that paid by the B.C. taxpayers.

You complain of portable classroom and student class size, exactly what is happening Alberta and Ontario.

You teachers have a excellent benefit package in comparison to your fellow taxpayers with regular jobs in the private sector.  A Port Alberni teacher, age 57, retired with B.C. teacher pension of $2300 per month, in 2008. If he waited until 2011, he would get $3000 per month.  Now add Canada Pension Plan if he wishes to take it at age 60, he is living very comfortable.  If he waits until age 65 to take Canada pension plan then all that more and add on Old Age Security, what a wonderful life.  One thing to remember though, all that money does not cure you from cancer.  Remember a large majority of your fellow taxpayers end up with Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security and in some cases a RRSP pension and a employer pension fund, but remember not everyone like you teachers.

In summary, I don’t believe you have anything to complain about.  Presently excellent wages and great benefits with a lot of time off.  You are complaining when the exact same thing happens in Alberta and Ontario.  The world is in a economic crises, but that is part of history, and will turn around, but that we have to wait for.  Look around.  Today’s news headlines lists that Sears is closing its large stores in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary.  Part of the sign of times.

The minister of education is trying to tell you teachers that pay raises will come when the world crises turns around, but no, you want everything now.  Unbelievable, from well educated people like yourselves.

Joe Sawchuk,

Duncan, B.C.