Battle for hearts and minds begins

The school year is over, as contract negotiations failed to resolve the labour dispute between teachers and the Province of B.C.


The school year is over, as weekend contract negotiations failed to resolve the latest labour dispute between teachers and the Province of British Columbia.

Comments from teachers on the picket line at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School, last week were of the opinion that failure to resolve the impasse over the weekend would mean a long,drawn out strike that would end in back to work legislation.

We will have to see how that prediction turns out, but it seems obvious there will be no further progress during this school year or over most of the summer.

So begins the task, from both sides, of winning hearts and minds of the public in order to win the battle of public opinion.

We’re sure we’ll be seeing this in the form of press releases, photo ops and other opportunities as summer unfolds.

What we aren’t as certain we will see are hard, cold facts  upon which we can base an informed opinion.

We know, for instance, how the students have been squeezed in this dispute, to the point now where graduating students are being cheated out of at least part of the formal experience of this rite of passage.

We also are sure the provincial government is basing its contractual offerings on increases that are commensurate to those offered to other sectors of the provincial government, in an effort to control escalating costs and rein in the provincial deficit.

We also know there are issues of class size and composition that need to be addressed, if not through financial, then philisophical means. Although this has been touted by many as the main issue in this strike, that doesn’t appear to have been the stumbling block in this weekend’s final negotiations. It appeared to be more about money than anything else.

Opinions about teachers’ salaries are subjective. We certainly can’t say definitively what constitutes reasonable pay for a teacher, but in forming an opinion, Similkameen taxpayers  might find the following link useful:

About halfway down the page are two buttons where one can select the school district, then receive a pdf file containing Statement of Financial Information relating to school district salaries and expenses exceeding $75,000.

Contained in the pages of these lists are some cold, hard facts taxpayers most likely won’t be hearing about as the battle for our hearts and minds gets underway.


Just Posted

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read