Everyone has to immediately stop saying,
“ Teacher’s salary demands are much higher than what other public sector unions settled for. ”
Because that’s not true.
Firefighting and police are public sector unions.
Coquitlam Firefighters got 6% over two years, and all other Metro Firefighters got within a quarter percent of that; except for Delta Firefighters of course, who got 20% over 8 years.
Recently, Vancouver Police quietly got 8.8% over three years.
And city workers? Burnaby CUPE, bus drivers, Hydro, B.C.I.T., B.C Pavillion, all 4% over 2 years; Skytrain 5.75% over 3 years.
Prince Rupert city workers got 18.25% over 4 years.
All of these settlements are more than 2% per year, just above the inflation rate and more than what the teachers are asking – 8% over 5 years.
And in the downtrodden private sector; locals of the Machinists and Steelworkers unions got 9.5% over 3 years and Unifor – 10.5% over 3 years.
Federally, CUPW (posties), got 7.25% over 3 years.
According to Stats Can, the average public and private sector settlement in 2013 was 2.59%.
Were B.C’s teachers to get the average Canadian salary settlement for 2013, it would be 15.54 % over the six years the government insists on.
Let me be clear; all the workers listed above deserve every penny of their raises. I cast no aspersions on them. But their settlements make a point seldom made by a lazy media; that B.C. teachers salary requests are neither ridiculous nor particularly high, especially after they have been offered zeroes in six of the last fourteen years and an average raise of less than 1% per year for 16 years, leaving them almost at the bottom of Canadian teacher salaries.
And sure, the wage settlements cited above are cherry picked – I didn’t include some settlements less favourable to the case – that’s what the government gets away with daily, without challenge.
B.C’s health workers and the BCGEU did ,in fact, get only slightly above 1% per year, but to hear either government Peter talk, you’d think that everyone in Canada is happily settling for salary cuts, which is what the government’s final salary offer to teachers amounts to; Six years, 1.1 % per year – starting of course with two more zeroes. 1.1% is less than the consumer price index in almost all of the last 15 years.
So, when you want to say that teachers outrageous salary “demands”, are “not even in the ball park”, you must instead say;
“Well, B.C. teacher salary requests are actually in every ballpark in Canada, except the ballpark in which the provincial government plays; the ballpark in which the employer is broke; having given all the tax revenues to rich guys in 2002.”