We should have been in shock when we found out how much money the top public employee executives were making, but sadly most of us weren’t. We were a little sick to our stomachs when we learned that 10 people made over 7 million dollars combined. If you add that to the executives making less than half a million a year, you have to wonder just how much the top public executives are really making.
I believe that people should make a living wage and should be compensated appropriately, but at the same time we need to ask whether these “executives” and political appointments should really be making half a million dollars a year or more? I have heard the argument that they need to stay competitive with the private sector, but we are talking about tax payers’ money coming from private profits.
In a way, what makes this the hardest to swallow, is that right now we have teachers who are trying to negotiate a new contract with the province. They have a number of issues on the table including pay increase, class sizes and local bargaining. I am not surprised the provincial Liberals are saying no to teachers’ demands and are threatening back to work legislation. They have done it before, so why wouldn’t they do it again?
I am saddened that the Liberals will not in good faith sit down and discuss these issues with the BC Teachers Federation, BCTF. To paraphrase a comment I heard on the radio the other day, “We should be spending money on educating our children today because they will be the ones making decisions for us when we are older.” How true. The youth today will be the ones forming government when I am a senior and if we don’t show them how to treat people now and we don’t educate them adequately, how will they treat us when we are in need of funding for medicare, housing, pensions and other important issues?
Education is an area where we need to ensure that funding is adequate and that the teachers we provide for our youth are the best we can get. If we as a society do not ensure this, we are not only robbing the young, we are robbing our own futures. Right now they depend on us. In the future, we will depend on them. Maybe this is something that Christy Clark and George Abbott need to be reminded of. By forcing teachers back to work without a negotiated settlement, they will create further tensions that will need to be dealt with in the future, and at the end of the day, the B.C. Liberals are playing a risky game of chance with the future of our society.
There could be a solution to this that the BCTF may have inadvertently brought up: local barging. I have said it before and I will say it again: I think that B.C. needs to start looking at an American county system where local governments are responsible for local issues such as education and health, etc. The Province could transfer funds to the local level and from there local government could allocate it to best suit its local needs.