I recently came across a great blog post, Within and without the union: prejudices about the BCTF, from a teacher who previously worked in a Catholic school and was not a fan of unions. He starts his post with a goal to figure out why the BCTF is so disliked:
He then shares his story about when his Catholic school staff tried to create a union after the firing of a teacher because she was divorced and planning to remarry. Next he lists some reasons he believes BCTF is disliked...and Finally he wraps up with this gem....I guess that I belong to the most despised union in the province. I’m not whimpering. It’s just a fact. The BC Teachers Federation gets a lot of nasty press. And I try to understand why that might be. To do so, I have to cast my memory back to my pre-union days.I taught in a Catholic independent school for 11 years. And there was no union. As you can probably guess, a couple of decades ago, some of the BCTF proclivities didn’t play well with Catholics. For one thing, there was the issue of support for LGBTQ realities that the Church would have preferred to deny, but there was more. The Church was terrified of unions.
The tax argument, however, is spurious. The same level of vitriol is never issued when people buy gasoline or groceries. People don’t curse the multimillionaire bank CEO’s when they get ding’d a-buck-fifty at the ATM just for taking out their own money. (By the way, when bank machines first came out, they were free to use, and still people were reluctant, as we knew that the banks were saving huge money laying off tellers). But for some reason, they don’t want to pay tax dollars for a system of universal education that is run and delivered by professionals. They say that in today’s economy we can’t afford it, which is funny, because our modern economy generates more wealth than ever before in history, yet as a percentage of GDP we funded schools much better in the past.I’ve come to look at the issue as one that I just have to live with. I have worked a few different jobs in my life, finally coming to teaching, and I can say that teaching is most definitely the hardest job I’ve ever done. It can be very rewarding at times – not lately though, considering how hard the government has been working to discredit us. (It really doesn’t feel good when your boss tries to goad you into a fight). But that ‘s a story for my previous blog post.
Please go enjoy the entire blog post. It is very well written and touches on a lot of important topics.
Read entire post here
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