General Voting Day is next week (May 14) and School District 51, the Boundary District Teachers’ Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2098 sent an education-related questionnaire to Boundary-Similkameen candidates.
Candidates were asked the following questions:
1)How will you/your party/government work to strengthen the co-governance relationship between boards of education and government?
2) Will you/your party/government commit to predictable and stable funding, which includes the annual addition of dollars to address costs for negotiated salary increases, increasing infrastructure expenses and provincial program implementation?
3) What is your position on free collective bargaining for the public education sector?
4) How will your government recognize and support education workers such as education assistants, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance and clerical staff in terms of a) funding whole jobs that support families and communities and b) allow for a high level of collaboration between teachers and classroom support workers?
Here is the response from Boundary-Similkameen Independent candidate Mischa Popoff:
I can’t believe the arrogance of the board of education, the teachers’ association and CUPE Local 2098.
If we don’t get people back to work in the primary and secondary resource sector of this riding, we won’t have any money for education, or any other tertiary services.
The province is broke! We’re teetering on becoming a have-not province like Quebec!
It’s time to cut salaries and start cutting positions throughout the education sector of this province, from K to Grade 12 and beyond, right up to university.
There are more than 70,000 fewer students enrolled in our schools, so by my calculations we need to start by eliminating 2,900 teaching positions.
And even when we finally get the province back on a solid financial footing, it’s time to reassess what teachers – along with police, fire and other public-sector employees – are paid in B.C. We also need to reconsider the idea that it takes four, five, or even six years of university to become a teacher, along with the idea that teachers who go back to school to get master’s degrees deserve to be paid more for doing the exact-same work they did with a bachelor’s degree. As for collective bargaining, it’s impossible under the current system for taxpayers to even be represented at the bargaining table.
Politicians and bureaucrats have proven themselves incapable and unwilling to stand up to teachers-union demands for more, more. Enough!