Letters to the Editor

Strike not about pay

Having been a carpenter since 1954 and a high school teacher for 37 years I feel qualified to comment on the Tuesday, June 3 edition of The NEWS.

First, to Grade 10 student Robert Filmer: when I quit the regular Composite High School in Edmonton it was because of classroom composition, not wages.

When a vice principal insisted on placing students, who could not do basic mathematics, in my carpentry framing class two years in a row, I could not stand the pain of seeing them sit there, day after day, for the whole year without understanding what was going on, so I quit.

I then taught at the Young Offenders Centre where I was actually able to teach again. When I retired, at age 65, a carpenter, in his mid-40s, came to take my place. His wage that year was $75,000 and mine was $68,000. Was I being greedy, Robert, because I quit?

Thank you to superintendent Rollie Koop for pointing out that I did not get paid for coaching Monday, Wednesday, Friday after school and Saturday mornings as well as weekend trips to competitions.

Second, I would like to thank Grade 10 student Ginny Lefeaux for a very impressive letter to the editor. For me, she has nailed down the problem extremely well — please hire her for a committee for the next two years she is in school. She sums up my experience over the 37 years.

At one point I had 38 students in a Sociology 20 class and had no problems, aside from the horrendous marking load, because all the students had a similar academic background.

I always told parents they were welcome to spend a day with me to see what I did for all the money they were paying me. I actually had one parent come and spend a morning with me; when we broke for lunch he said: “I would not trade you jobs for all the tea in China — I’ll stick to being an electrician.”

Who is making the decisions that students do not need basic math, cannot be given a ‘zero’ for work they do not do, do not learn to write and spell correctly, etc.? Let’s put some common sense people in these positions. In the past I often had occasion to ask: “Did someone just come back from the U.S.A. with a Masters or Ph.D?

Ed Fergusson

Parksville

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
Rotary connector trail extension enhances Rails to Trails project
 
Pay more for Columbia River, minister tells U.S.
East Kootenay schools get playground cash
 
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
 
NDP Leader tours Teck mines
ELECTION 2014: The Education Equation or why you should pay attention to school trustee elections
 
Central Okanagan school trustees take office
 
Archaeological open house July 13 at Lemon Creek Pithouse Village

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.