Editor, The Times:
With all the rhetoric and verbosity around the dispute between the B.C. government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation flying through the various media outlets, I thought I would add a few words about my experience.
I have been a proud member of the BCTF since 1973. I have been on strike in the 80s, the 90s and twice in this century. Always it is a fight to the finish to maintain the rights to fair and reasonable treatment through a democratic bargaining process. Always it is a fight to maintain our public education system so that children can get the best education possible.
After being on the protest line for the past three days, I do have great hope for the future of the public education system. I see dedicate young professionals standing up for the rights of children. I felt the support of the public with many waves and horn honks as they drove past. I appreciated the food that arrived from folks concerned that we were staying warm and fed. I am proud of the teachers that spent some of their time in volunteering at the ski hill, the food bank, the public library and other places. Some also dispensed information in various locations.
Fair treatment by an out of touch government may be a dream. The reality is we have a strong and dedicated teaching force, ready to stand fast in our belief that democracy needs to be defended. Children matter. Teachers care.