By Joseph KravjanskiUsing the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator:What cost $100 in 2000 now costs $131.65 – a 31.65% increase in living costs to the public over 13.5 years.Using BC’s statistics it still still amounts to a 24.95% increase. I would be surprised to know if the average person’s wage has even kept pace.Teachers’ cumulative increases over the same time period amount to 21.3%As far as hours worked many mistakenly look at the work day being from 8:30 to 3:00 with maybe a 1/2 hour lunch and no coffee breaks. This would amount to a 30 hour week if that were it. However, when you factor in instruction preparation, marking, internal and parental e-mails and meetings with both parents, administration and committees you’re more in the 50 to 60 hour a week range. Spring and Christmas breaks still involve the non instructional preps I mentioned to some degree as does Summer vacation (typically 1 week after schools close and 1 to 2 weeks before schools reopen are spent cleaning up, ordering materials and planning for the coming school year).Also misunderstood is the fact that Professional Days were added to the school year calendar from days that would not have been instructional days (days from after the school year would have ended) to allow teachers to keep pace with changes by taking workshops and schools to provide in-school training for administration-determined pertinent issues (of 6 Pro-D Days, 3 are school admin. controlled, 1 is a Provincial Specialists Association controlled and 2 are district/teacher controlled).When you use the 50 hour week over the year (if you want to claim that teachers only work 36 weeks as so many claim, not the more accurate numbers I alluded to above) it would amount to about 1,800 hours a year, at 60 it would be 2,160 hours a year. Oh, and that doesn’t include the time spent coaching and running clubs which are extra-curricular (that means that they are things that teachers do that are not part of their teaching responsibilities or job description, never have been. In the US coaches are paid for spending their time coaching school sports). Compare that to a regular worker with a 37.5 hour week job and 2 weeks vacation accumulating 1,875 work hours a year.I consider myself extremely lucky to have the job that I do but I also believe that there needs to be some balance between encouraging profitable business and making sure that we keep a skilled and motivated work force that at least keeps up with inflation. I don’t pretend to know what everyone’s job involves; therefore I try not to make assumptions based on misconceptions and innuendo. There are good workers and bad workers in every job capacity in every profession. Always have been, always will be. There are protocols in place to deal with these situations. Are they perfect? No. Do they always work? No. Do managers avail themselves of proper procedures to rid themselves of bad workers? Not always. Sometimes due to being overwhelmed themselves, sometimes because they themselves are sub standard. We’re human and nothing we do is perfect.
I’ve gone on now for quite a bit. Whether it will make any of you reflect critically I don’t know.
PS. Since 2007 BC MLA’s salaries have gone from $76.100 to $101,859 (not including pension, stipends and expenses). In 7 years that amounts to a 33.85% increase. I thought there was a Net Zero Mandate.