Our kids and their teachers: worth investing in!

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BC teachers need your help. After a year of negotiations, we are still without a deal that will help address our working conditions, which are also our students’ learning conditions. The biggest obstacle to progress is the government’s refusal to address BC’s funding gap.

British Columbia currently funds public education $1,800 per student less than the national average.

Without more provincial funding, our students won’t get all the support they need, and BC kids will continue to be shortchanged compared to other students across Canada.

Employer proposals would take BC backwards. Nobody voted for that.

Adding to the problem, the BC Public School Employers’ Association opened bargaining with sweeping proposals that would undo our Supreme Court of Canada victory. That court win meant smaller classes, more support for children with special needs, and an increase in specialists like counsellors and learning support teachers. Instead of extending these improvements across the entire province, BCPSEA is putting them at risk.

We’re pushing for more funding to ensure all BC students get the help they need.

We also need to address BC’s growing teacher shortage. Across every region of BC, there are hundreds of unfilled positions and an unprecedented number of untrained, unqualified, and uncertified adults in classrooms. Every day, there are unfilled vacancies that force specialist teachers to be reassigned away from their work with individual students to cover classroom teachers. The shortage has become a crisis.

BC can’t recruit enough teachers because our salaries have fallen so far behind other provinces.

Starting salaries for teachers in BC are the lowest in the country outside of Quebec. For example, they are $12,000 lower than Alberta and $9,000 lower than Manitoba. On the top end of the pay scale, salaries for BC teachers are $6,000 to $14,000 lower than Ontario and the Prairies. School districts can’t recruit the teachers they need because people would have to take a pay cut to come to BC.

It’s time for the government to increase funding for public education. Our kids and their teachers: worth investing in!

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