LETTER: Rules keep changing in dispute

Mission teachers want to be teaching local students

Thank you for the thoughtful editorial of Friday, June 19.

Mission teachers are becoming very frustrated with this dispute. We want to be working with your children and we want a fair settlement as soon as possible.

Teachers are by nature “rule followers.” We try to teach our students how to play nice and how to work together. When the government keeps changing the rules as negotiations go along, we have to wonder what their real intent is: Is it “families first” or is it “break the unions before the next election?”

Schools cannot be locked out one day, declared an essential service the next, and then locked out again. If we are an essential service, it is essential that the schools be properly funded. Proper funding means that there are enough educational assistants hired to support our special needs students. Proper funding means that ES. students get one-on-one support to learn English. Proper funding means that counsellors are available to support students who can’t learn until their personal issues are dealt with. Proper funding means that every school library is open every day with a librarian to encourage literacy. Proper funding means that teachers are given the time and tools to reach every learner in the class.

I’d also like to give a shout out to Edie Heinrichs (Mission board of education) for putting her name to a letter addressed to Peter Fassbender in support of negotiating a fair settlement. Also to trustee Shelly Carter for her support of Mission teachers. And finally a big thank you to the parents of Mission students who have been so kind to us since we have been locked out.

Mission teachers want to be teaching your children. We consider them to be our children when they are with us and we want them to have the best education possible.

James McGrath

Hatzic Secondary