I’m writing in reply to the letter written by Natalie Matheson ‘No such thing as something for nothing’ (Chilliwack Progress, March 15). She says that she is opposed to B.C. teachers striking for more pay because it is unreasonable to raise taxes and that teachers do not deserve it because they do less work than other professions.
Ms. Matheson argues about the unfair increase in taxes that may come from increasing teachers wages. However, taxes are a small price to pay to give your child an education. Most likely she would agree to a slight increase in taxes in order to receive better cancer treatment for a family member. Also, many teachers spend as much as $1,000 per year on their own personal teaching resources that the schools do not provide.
The teachers are not only asking for pay raises, they also want more support from the government so that they can better teach your children.
One of her arguments is that teachers work 663 fewer hours than the average full-time Canadian employee, and while I would be interested to see where this number is coming from, she is most likely not taking into account the hours before and after school when teachers are making lesson plans and marking your children’s homework. Many teachers spend their weekends doing work as well.
She also comments that if a teacher left B.C., someone new would do the job with more heart and passion because they want to teach. However, I doubt that Ms. Matheson would do her job with as much heart and passion if she was spending as much of her own money on resources and spending her time off on weekends marking assignments. Teaching may be a glorified position with nice benefits and good vacation time, but it is still just a job to someone. And if that someone was you, Ms. Matheson, I think you would be fighting for your own wages as well.
If the teachers are asking for more money to provide better working conditions, this translates to better learning conditions for your child.