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  1. #26
    RGA
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    Forever Autumn

    I understand the point but then why does the government spend millions on BC Place's roof and the Olympics that I certainly did not get a vote on. Teachers pay taxes too and probably 95% or more of them would vote no thanks to both expenditures. Yet my money went to fund that crap.

    The government has the money - they choose to allocate for grossly wasteful things because rich people benefit from them. A highway to Whistler - really? Oh sure it will generate a drop in the bucket gain for tourism but ask them for the direct link to improved road to increase tourism and I would not hold your breath.

    The public sector has advantages over private sector in terms of job security and this has always been the case. If you want a steady safe job you do your best to get hired by the government.

    That said I worked at Seagate software - where employees could by shares. They go public and the shipper/receiver guy got a cheque for $450,000 - any normal employee doing thgat job gets about $14 an hour. So in the private sector you play the high risk high reward game.

    The risk is of course is the company that struggles like in your example who have to pinch their pennies on everything (which to be blunt is a sign to look for another job because they're likely going down the drain so I'd be making resumes up real fast).

    After all - teachers are professionals they can go get another job - so too are the people who work at jobs where they can't give you 2% increase on your salary. Teachers make 50% of what they made in 1985 in terms of buying power - I think that's enough to ask of one sector. Alberta and Ontario make 30% more money - so whatever the problems with money stems from incompetent government finances and teachers should not have to pay for that (they already have).

    And even having said that everyone knows that asking for a raise is a pipe dream - but I mean you gotta at least ask.

    As the above said "Given these economic times, no one is expecting a bonanza but at the very least could we get a cost of living increase? Please?... No?...Ok, thought I'd ask."

    In other words - he's fine with a no.

    The thing you are not addressing though is yes only one point covers the school - but teachers need to first protect themselves and their profession oh and the law which the government broke.

    The union busting mantra that all right wing governments want makes no sense in fields like Teaching for the simple reason that there are a certain number of professions that attract the "best and the brightest" and teaching is one of those - it is chosen because people want to do it for the right reasons and they can justify the choice by saying - ok I won't make as much as I would as a corporate lawyer for big tobacco but I can live with myself and at least there is some job security and better than average (but not great) benefits.

    But if you take the (At least it has.....) away from the field now you no longer attract the best and the brightest.

    So what would have to happen is the degree requirements would have to drop. Because no one will do a 5.5 years B.A./B.ed to work in a field with no job security at all, and for a $43,000 pay-cheque where you can be fired for any reason on the whim of a government official. Your show is untied - you're fired. You don't sleep with me - you're fired. Anyone read their Dickens anymore?

    You have to attract the best people - you know educated people to educate kids. Seriously - if there is no carrot then you may as well work at McDonalds - at lest you get the food half price and managers make more than beginning teachers and requires no student loan debt. If you're any good you eventually become store manager and then area manager. I worked there - I know. Hey they even give you a company car.

    Here's the thing - people don't make the hard choices - why can;t people say "shove it" - I did.

    I like my little town of Nanaimo - I spent 5.5 years of University training and $50,000 in student loan debt to become a teacher because the GOVERNMENT of Canada said - we need teachers - in 5 years we're going to be short - that was 12 years ago. So I changed careers and said I'll do it.

    Could not get work so I packed up my life and went overseas (Seoul for 2 years). Then I came back to Nanaimo again to see if there were openings - nope - went to China for a year at a Canadian school). Came back again - got a job subbing in North Vancouver Island - got myself $15,000 in more debt because the pay for subs while a nice daily rate on paper has some problems - such as three days of work.

    As a sub you can't take another job during weekdays because you have to be available to sub. I typically worked 3-4 days a week - but in some districts subs work 3-4 days - A MONTH!

    Lot's of luck living on that. So they take a job at night and weekends. So now the best and the brightest are working seven days a week and if they get a week long gig to sub they work 8-4 and then go to their night job from 6pm-2am - and then work weekends.

    The thing is subs are being subs now for a decade - the average sub in Victoria BC earns $11,000 a year and wait to get a full time job is 10-17 years. So when you bloody well finally get the damn job you have the government tell you - "we're ripping up the contract we signed in good faith because we need the money to fund a roof for BC place for a sport no one watches" Oh and you can't strike (which basically means you have a union in name only).

    Personally speaking I washed my hands of the whole stupid system and moved to Hong Kong where they understand that education is probably the most critical thing there is for a society. Which is why teachers here make 50% more money than in BC - with a lower cost of living, with no sales tax, and a flat 15% tax rate. If it wasn't for the humidity (although Ontario sucks for that too) and crowds it would be just about perfect. Very similar to Vancouver in many ways.

    Once again BC teachers should stop whining and quit - all of them all at the same time. Lots of schools in mainland China - maple Leaf schools operate in Dalian - the cleanest city in China.

    Send this to your BC teacher friends Maple Leaf Educational Systems ..: Canadian and Chinese Certification :..

  2. #27
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    All because of the government's Politically correct ideals (solely developed to save a buck):

    1) teaches kids to get used to working with the mentally challenged
    2)teaches them compassion for those less fortunate than themselves
    3)helps the mentally challenged work as contributing members of society.
    ...
    This is the sort of disingenuous sh!t you get from conservative politicians all the time.

  3. #28
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Hey RGA. B.C. is not alone.

    Here's a message from Ontario's Premier, released this morning...

    Print Article: Dalton McGuinty pitches wage freeze to teachers on YouTube - Toronto - CBC News

    YouTube video:

  4. #29
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    South Carolina is a right to work state which is one reason BMW's, Michelin tires, and Boeing Dreamliners are built here. With all the unemployed teachers looking for jobs, heaven forbid educators going on strike.

  5. #30
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Ever hear of some guy named George Meaney?

    "The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, donít generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money."

    See this link, the source of that little snippet, for a brief discussion of matters such as this.

  6. #31
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    Hey RGA. B.C. is not alone.

    Here's a message from Ontario's Premier, released this morning...

    Print Article: Dalton McGuinty pitches wage freeze to teachers on YouTube - Toronto - CBC News

    YouTube video:
    The issue isn't salaries for Pete Sake - the issue is that government says "please take a wage freeze and we'll use the money to better education."

    Teachers say ok fine - since teachers use thousands of their own money to help fund their classrooms anyway. Problem is the governments do absolute nothing to fund ANYTHING in school.

    To American posters I am not sure how it works in the U.S. It may be different/better/worse/equal etc. But In BC each school district is responsible for funding themselves in the black.

    A high school for instance has a dollar amount tied to each student - So if the school has 300 students the school gets X dollar amount for that school year. So if there are 400 students one year and 350 the next - they have to cut a massive amount of money - usually a teacher - or Special Ed worker. And the first to go are the non core subjects.

    In SD 85 which is Vancouver Island North - Music was dumped, Drama was saved but stripped so that the students have to supply all the materials for sets (and gather donations for things like costumes - which is fair enough - since this does work - so why not save some money rather than buying it). Business was also dropped - no accounting courses, marketing, general business. dropped.

    The problem of course is the schools up there are very low level - mainstream Math curriculum is beyond most of them. This is where basic business is an important course - first because it's the real world mathematics and secondly the math is far easier than Principles of Math 11 which involves a lot of trig/higher level algebra, quadratic equations, etc. Typically this isn't everyday life mathematics unless you're an engineer and 99% of the kids in that district will never be an engineer. Business or working in an office as an accounting clerk however isn't beyond their scope. So naturally it's the course that is dropped.

    As mentioned earlier - it's also the reason the schools will take in borderline serial killer behavioral students because the school for some reason gets a windfall of cash to take them in. Schools that would like nothing more to expel students who should be expelled (even downright serious criminals) are kept in the school for fear of losing their funding.

    I am not a parent myself but I would have an expectation that I am sending my kid to a school where they don't allow known and guilty offenders to roam the halls because the principal needs the cash. (Principals are not part of the union - they are government officials). Parents are never told this - but I would likely bet that every single high school in BC has at least one such student roaming the halls. Possible exceptions would be the very large schools where 1800 students is the norm - The schools have much more money to play with and while they have to hire more teachers - the building costs is not that much more since at least all the rooms are being used. So they can get rid of those toxic students - problem is they simply go to the schools that need the money.

    The other issue is that school districts who have to run their own finances are not exactly "accountants" they're elected and as anyone knows - elections don't always involve the best people for the job but the most popular speaker or best looking or some other irrelevant factor.

    Take the Minister's speech - wants teachers to take a zero - great so what is he going to do to improve the school's funding? Well all- day kindergarten is much more expensive and a lot more work for schools and teachers.

    So you might say - hey they hire new teachers - no - they make the current kindergarten teachers work double - or they create a split class in grade 2/3 and bring in the leftover teacher to teach K. In other words - government places a massive demand on the school without funding it.

    He gives the ra-ra speech about the system being revered - well yeah but he and his government has Zero to do with that. BC and Ontario teaching programs are revered around the world as being either the best or right near the top on a world stage - in spite of the government. These same politicians who gave themselves a 15% increase in pay no less! A beginning MP earns something like $147,000 for a dead easy job with a fat pension after a couple of terms. They make three times what a teacher makes - explain that to me please? Don't tell me it's a hard job - a bloody waitress got in and 21 year old kid green out of University got voted in (granted anti-conservative/Liberal votes) but still.

    The vacation pay argument is fair enough - I believe that that is an honor system - if you're sick it's nice to have and should be there - but if you're not sick you should not profit on it either.

    However I would amend it slightly - and suggest that while vacation days are bankable if you don't use them 1 sick day should be placed in a sick day pool - so that when you have the major incident - the teacher in a car accident for example who needs 6 months of sick days - they can draw from the pool to add to their own sick days so they're not out money. In other words the sick days would be shifted to an as needed basis instead of just an individual basis. The government would not be out any money and would still likely see a large net gain - I agree that there should be no payout when retired - but the days go into said pool or at least some reasonable percentage of days go into the pool.

    Remember Ontario has the 1st or second most powerful union in the world. They make 30% more money that BC Teachers for the same job and same qualifications - yet BC has a higher cost of living.

    Speaking personally I agree with the original guy who could care less if the pay increased at all - To me the increase is a respect issue or a "principle of the thing" kind of request - in that if you don't get cost of living you get a pay cut - and that is disgraceful when you give yourself a higher than C.o.L increase. But I can get passed it and so would most teachers - Ie - if this was a strike just about the raise it would have been voted down by a large number.

    I actually made the point many times to teachers to dump the entire raise issue - the public and the media and the liberals will focus on the wage hike - but if you walk out and have NO salary increase demand of any kind now the government has no leg to stand on and teachers have all the support - they can say - we're going on strike to better the school and there's "no profit in it for me" - unfortunately I don't run the union.

  7. #32
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    "The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, donít generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money."

    See this link, the source of that little snippet, for a brief discussion of matters such as this.
    MarkW

    We agree on something - I think it's really difficult thing to be in a Union where you have to negotiate with government as the employer. This is the first union I've been in and it seems like it's not even a union. Imagine you are a teacher in this union right now. What exactly do you do - well you pay two different union fees every paycheck whether you like it or not. And it's illegal to strike?? I don't really know what a union is if it can't strike.

    In a non union job each year I went into the office and had a discussion with my boss over my job performance. Richard - here are the things I think you did well - this needs work. We've decided to give you a 10% wage increase - thanks for the hard work. Any questions?

    In a union as a substitute teacher I don't get feedback from anyone. Why? Because the VP is deathly afraid of saying something about my teaching practice of professionalism - because if I run to my union leader - the fight will be on. That part of the union is just idiotic - your boss needs to be allowed to tell you what you need to do better or not - these are ex teachers who are supposedly veterans and new teachers make mistakes - probably a lot of them - sure we each self reflect and try to fix our own mistakes and we're trained to do this but you can't catch everything.

    Principal reviews should occur once a year but they're artificial since kids are always on their best behavior when the principal is sitting in the back of the room. Lesson planning is arguably the easiest part of the job and with the Principal there they don't have much classroom management to evaluate.

    In a regular job you can go ask for a raise anytime you want - if you do this as a teacher - you have to do it as a "Body" of individuals. You ask for a raise as an individual the boss is out one salary increase - as a Body they have to give a raise to 40,000 people. Moreover if you do ask - you end up on spiral forums with people calling you names - greedy unrealistic etc. But there is no other way to ask for a raise - the individual is the body and when the body asks - it's in the newspaper.

    I'm not sure what the answer is - but I can look at Hong Kong - very weak union but the system works much better.

    The Government decides (Remember Hong Kong was owned by the British and while it has been given over to China - China has largely left it alone - it is a special regional district and Chinese need a passport to get into Hong Kong). So HK is very much like London and British legalese.

    It's really simple - teachers have a pay grid 14 to 33 and you move up the scale each year. You could start higher depending on your qualifications (and also stop at level 24 depending on qualifications). Each year the salary goes up by the cost of living plus a calculation of how the private sector did - if the PS did well public sector gets an increase (largely because the PS is taxed and there is of course more money for the public sector).

    No one complains about salary here - it's high - a level 33 would be making around $8k US per month - foreign teachers like me would get that plus a $2k per month living allowance. No one can complain about salary - and no one does (well some might but they're smoking something).

    And because everyone knows this is the system - this is how it works - then when you go into the profession you know what to expect and you can't complain because you knew what it was going to be like.

    The problem with bargaining is that you could look at teaching and say - okay it doesn't pay that much but if offers these 9 points in it's favor - security class size limits, Special needs limits - ok I can handle that - let's do that as a career.

    Then 6 years later you come out of school in big debt - now you're tied to the job because you're in debt and that's what you were trained for. But now the government looks at the 9 points and scraps 7 of them - back the truck up - if 6 years ago you looked at the job and saw only 2 points in it's favor you say n'ah I think I'll be a bus driver instead (incidentally bus drivers make 50% more money than teachers and require no degree) So they make 50% more money - can work 6 more years and don't have $50k of debt. Ie a bus driver would be $350,000 ahead of a teacher if the teacher could get a full time position as soon as they graduate.

    Bus Drivers are also employed by the government and are not asked to take a pay cut. The difference is buses get people to work for the big businesses that need them there to help them make a profit. Education makes people smart - the last thing big business or government wants.

    I think people deserve a duty of care. You tell a person to spend $50,000 on a degree and spend 6 years of their life on something - you have a contract with certain promises and then when the person fulfills their end of the bargain the guy holding the contract rips it up and says - ah HAH! Sucker - now I've got you indebted to me and here's how it's gonna be. Sure it's illegal - the BC union took the government to court - and the Union won!!

    But the government can rewrite the laws - and they have - they simply overturn or ignore the court and change the law to reflect what they want to do.

    Now again if you're the poor schmuck in the union you really have no choice but to support the union in the fight whether you like unions or not. Personally i think the BCTF is a weak willed poodle trying to fight a TREX. And the teachers will bark and bark and then they'll lose anyway simply because the BCTF unlike Ontario does not have a big business union to help them - in Ontario when the teachers go out on strike the Steel workers go with them - which shuts down the auto industry - the steel industry (which is Ontario's biggest industry I believe) and that basically means the entire province grinds to a halt.

    Government is forced to listen because if they don't they'll be out on their ass next election.

    In BC - they don't have "private sector" union support like in Ontario.

    I suppose all these issues boil down to government - you notice that the union is always the one that comes under fire on threads like this - the "worker" is to blame. But no one addresses how the government is spending money. Is there transparency for the public to see.

    For instance I don't see a simple 1-2 page break down of finances.

    What we should all be allowed to see is a government document (province/Federal - State and Federal in the U.S.)

    Total income tax generated
    Total sales tax from all sources

    Total expenses - Mayors, Prime Minister, President - all Cabinet and elected officials (you can get this in Canada - if you work in the public sector your salary can be viewed by the public). Since government workers are working on tax payer dollars and in a sense are employed by the people - that only makes sense

    Then all expenses by those people - including union workers (all union business and income should be open as well)

    All government projects - should be listed and how much money went to each one. I would take it a step further and with politicians I would want all their personal finances brought to public as well - how much did they pay for their house, car, furniture - all bank accounts - for a $147K a year you can lose some privacy in the deal) then I know you bought a house with your income level and didn't mysteriously come up with an extra million someplace.

    Don't like it don't go into politics.

    This goes back to one of our famous Prime Minister's who wasted a million dollars on a picture of a Red Dot - and flew all over the world dating movie stars - on the taxpayer dime while fingering us in the meantime - we're still paying off his lala land policies. Bilingualism don't even go there. The education system in BC spends an incredible amount of money to do a half assed job of teaching French to people who do not need it and other than working for the government will likely never need it - and even if they did need - it they won't learn it in school because it's grossly underfunded to do the job properly. If you're going to do something do it well or don't bloody well bother.

    BC government is planning to spend something like 3 billion on a bridge that already works fine enough - they could spend a tenth of that on teacher demands and the remaining amount on improved public transport while generating more jobs for people.

    So for the same money we get:
    More workers working
    Better environment (more public transport)
    More money for education, medical, police, fire etc

    Or we get a roof on a stadium that houses 15 or so games in a year for the CFL a pretty dead sport - and adding a lane to a bridge and making a highway to a ski resort nicer.

    "Give me the highway contract and I'll give you a million bucks to your Swiss account" - in the US it's a donation to the campaign fund (which probably still goes to the Swiss account)

    I know you don't like China - but due to their world wide "saving face" embarrassment - at least when they catch the crooks - they put a bullet in them. Here - they give them a golden parachute.
    Last edited by RGA; 03-03-2012 at 10:04 PM.

  8. #33
    RGA
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    CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada had a pay cut this year .. he ONLY received $10.60 million

    Is it just me that sees a problem here?

  9. #34
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    "The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, donít generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money."

    See this link, the source of that little snippet, for a brief discussion of matters such as this.
    Is PROFIT the measure of everything? It's absurd to imply that public education is valueless because it doesn't earn profit.

    I'm enough of a capitalist that I believe that wage and salary levels ought to be established by supply & demand, not on based on a share of company's profit. In the end workers feel the same way: if the owners and managers can't run the organization properly, why should they be asked to take make sacrifices when they have worked as hard as the employee at the hugely profitable firm?

    But I'll agree to the extent that public service unions are often greedy. They have often "won" wages, benefits, and protections much higher than people of comparable skills in private business. This comes from the monopoly situation of there employers, i.e. governments. It's worth noting that were private firms enjoy a monopoly or minimum competition, unions "win" similar excessive remuneration -- this was the situation in the US auto industry for decades.

  10. #35
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    "The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, donít generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money."

    See this link, the source of that little snippet, for a brief discussion of matters such as this.
    OR, markw, would you be in favor of privatizing all education and, perhaps or not, giving people vouchers? This would lead to the dumbing of America really fast. Care to dispute?

    On the other hand I agree that there are problems public service employees' collective bargaining, (as already discussed). Of course, (as also already discussed), the same problem can arise in case of private industries under conditions of constrained competition, viz. the auto industry in the '50s.

  11. #36
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    RGA, I agree with your points about the gov't being responsible for bettering the education system. And I totally agree that teaching is not an easy job and the teaches should be paid a fair wage. However, where is the money to better the education system supposed to come from if the bottom line is that THE MONEY IS NOT THERE? Would lower class sizes improve the quality of education? Sure probably. Is the ability to bank 200 sick days and get paid for them a reasonable wage? Not by a long shot! That's insane and is costing tax payers billions of dollars. The union should never have been allowed to negotiate that kind of benefit in the first place. What is the purpose? They have a rich Long-Term Disability plan so what is the need for 200 sick days?

    If the teachers union gives up the 200 sick days to release the billions this is costing, for the benefit of the system, then maybe I'll be able to look at them differently. Until then, I maintain my position that they are using the betterment of the system as an excuse for their own agenda.

  12. #37
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    I don't fully undrstand the stick up your ass here. but here goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Is PROFIT the measure of everything? It's absurd to imply that public education is valueless because it doesn't earn profit.
    I love how you try to put words in my mouth. Please point out where I implied that education is valueless.

    So, what are you saying in these following snippits? I don't see anything that really supports unions in them, do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    But I'll agree to the extent that public service unions are often greedy. They have often "won" wages, benefits, and protections much higher than people of comparable skills in private business. This comes from the monopoly situation of there employers, i.e. governments. It's worth noting that were private firms enjoy a monopoly or minimum competition, unions "win" similar excessive remuneration -- this was the situation in the US auto industry for decades.
    As was pointed out in the article, once laws are passed that made unions a vital part of the bargaining process by forcing them to be dealt with, all good-conscience negotiations died and extortion takes it's place. Once a company is "forced" by law to use union labor forevermore, the company, and eventually the surrounding area, automatically loses. Look at Boeing. Look at your own problems with Caterpillar in London, Ontario. Are you familiar with that area and whats going on there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    On the other hand I agree that there are problems public service employees' collective bargaining, (as already discussed). Of course, (as also already discussed), the same problem can arise in case of private industries under conditions of constrained competition, viz. the auto industry in the '50s.
    So, you see where unions sounded the death knell for the host by demanding more from them than they can give, What else is there to say? And,yes, it's just lovely that the government bailed out two major auto makers who were forced to sign contracts that guaranteed benefits decades after their financial viability diminished to virtually nil. So, now the tax payers are on the hook for them.

    But, on the bright side, many foreign auto makers, and other companies, are opening plants in right-to-work states and turning out quality products made by many happily employed people who enjoy a good standard of living..

    So, I guess, yes, in a profit-driven company, profit IS everything, or at least breaking even is of utmost importance to it''s shareholders. They can raise prices to what the market will support or will cut corners to make do with what they can afford as long as they satisfy their shareholders. Public unions simply think taxes can be raised with no limits which iscontradictiory since te taxpayinfg public ARE it's shareholders.

    .Now, while the greying of the work force is an issue from which few are immune, might I suggest that a lot of your problems were more than likely self-created by your undeniable sense of superiority and entitlement? If your contributions were really that great, I'm sure they would have found a way to preserve your services. The fact that they stopped putting money in your education or giving you raises for the ten years prior should have given you a clue that maybe, just maybe, you ain't really all that after all. That, and they could get more work for less money from a more recent college graduate who already has an education ready for today's challenges, which is the responsibility of a company to it's shareholders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada had a pay cut this year .. he ONLY received $10.60 million

    Is it just me that sees a problem here?
    I changed it a while back, but my signature for a while said "Capitalism = Legal yet Immoral"

    I have no problem with an owner getting rich if he shares it with the employees. But to pay people pittance so he can make 10 mill, is a little over the top of what Capitalism was supposed to mean.

  14. #39
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    ...
    .Now, while the greying of the work force is an issue from which few are immune, might I suggest that a lot of your problems were more than likely self-created by your undeniable sense of superiority and entitlement? If your contributions were really that great, I'm sure they would have found a way to preserve your services. The fact that they stopped putting money in your education or giving you raises for the ten years prior should have given you a clue that maybe, just maybe, you ain't really all that after all. That, and they could get more work for less money from a more recent college graduate who already has an education ready for today's challenges, which is the responsibility of a company to it's shareholders.
    Gracious as ever, Mark. As Bobsticks would say, "Thank you, thank you very little!"

    I don't have to justify my value to the company to you. Nevertheless I'll mention that I survived several major and quite a few minor downsizing and corporate reorganizations; if they hadn't valued my contributions, they had lots of opportunity to get rid of me. The treatment I received wasn't specifically directed at me, but at older workers in general.

  15. #40
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    You're very welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Gracious as ever, Mark. As Bobsticks would say, "Thank you, thank you very little!"

    I don't have to justify my value to the company to you. Nevertheless I'll mention that I survived several major and quite a few minor downsizing and corporate reorganizations; if they hadn't valued my contributions, they had lots of opportunity to get rid of me. The treatment I received wasn't specifically directed at me, but at older workers in general.
    Hey, you're the one that called me out to play by putting words in my mouth.

    No, you don't have to justify your work to me. Remember, unions are known for holding back production to meet the lowest common denominator and keeping the most useless employed long after their usefulness has gone. That's where we are now.

    But, since it seems that you feel that you needed a union to protect you like a factory worker, perhaps you should have justified it to your company when you saw it coming. Apparantly, your company couldn't see it in your work and didn't share your opinion on your invaluable contributions. Remember, they are profit-driven and if they felt you added to that, you most likely would still be there. This isn't Logan's Run and there was no law saying they HAD to let you go.
    Last edited by markw; 03-04-2012 at 06:36 PM.

  16. #41
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    RGA, I agree with your points about the gov't being responsible for bettering the education system. And I totally agree that teaching is not an easy job and the teaches should be paid a fair wage. However, where is the money to better the education system supposed to come from if the bottom line is that THE MONEY IS NOT THERE? Would lower class sizes improve the quality of education? Sure probably. Is the ability to bank 200 sick days and get paid for them a reasonable wage? Not by a long shot! That's insane and is costing tax payers billions of dollars. The union should never have been allowed to negotiate that kind of benefit in the first place. What is the purpose? They have a rich Long-Term Disability plan so what is the need for 200 sick days?

    If the teachers union gives up the 200 sick days to release the billions this is costing, for the benefit of the system, then maybe I'll be able to look at them differently. Until then, I maintain my position that they are using the betterment of the system as an excuse for their own agenda.
    I totally agree on this point - I am not up on union / government negotiations but to be fair - the government agreed to this in hte first place.

    Here is what I would suspect happened. During negotiations the government decided it was not going to give the teacher's a raise because it looks bad in the press and to their voters.

    So they say "we'll let you have a pay out of 200 days on your banked sick days when you retire" which in effect is giving you your salary increase."

    This unloads the burden for the current government by offloading (backloading) the payout to a later date and perhaps also to a later government which will have to come up with the boomers all retiring around the same time.

    The government thinking on it is pretty clear and it serves as a motivator for teachers not to be calling in sick. After all if a teacher is sick they are paying the teacher's salary and they're also paying a sub's salary - so they're paying double.

    In a normal job if you are sick the work piles up until you get back but if a teacher is sick they have to have a replacement.

    So in education and for these particular civil servants I can sort of understand why the government would agree to paying the sick days out.

    Otherwise teachers would be taking a lot more stress day leaves and using their sick days - which here in HK is 18 days per year and bankable.

    I guess I am saying - I don't know if the minister is going to win that one - The teachers may agree to it - but you can bet they'll be "sick" much more often and so I suppose I'm not sure the government would save money. As a Substitute in Canada it would be great we could actually get more work - which in a roundabout sort of way might help the economy.

    It's not always the union and teachers who are wasting money however.

    Take me as an example. As a Sub with 1 year experience I get $212 a day (less 10% teacher pension, CPP, UI, Tax, BCTF union dues and VINTA union dues (2 union dues WTF right?)

    All subs make that rate (slightly lower/higher depending what region they live in - northern allowances etc)

    If I get 4 consecutive days the pay would be ~$260. So it's nice to get 4 days in a row or more because each day is at the higher rate.

    However, teachers at the max scale can retire early and go back on the sub list. Which infuriates me to no end.

    If they get their 4 days they will revert to their seniority scale of pay which borders on $500 a day.

    In theory they should be called in only as a last resort - with the major flu back a few years there were something like 60% of the staff out at the same time - ok I get it you need to call in the 70 year old retirees and they're nice enough to come in so fine pay them their max rate.

    But when they're buddy buddy with the VP (not in the union but government) who calls his retired teacher friend in to work for 3 consecutive weeks while the cheaper guys like me and several other Subs in the district as cheap don't even get phoned then there is a SERIOUS problem and to me that pisses over $200 a day in tax payer money right down the drain. And then government wonders why it has no money for education.

    But this happens all the time. I have an English degree and taught it for a year - semester starts and the teacher is sick (out of a month). The teacher requests the former English teacher (retired) - so that woman got paid $500 per day every day for 5 weeks. I would have cost half. That's say $5500 the district paid extra just by having that English teacher in over me for one month - one school one instance - it goes on all over the province.

    Sure the union negotiated the rates and battled for it - but at the same time why are school districts who are certainly not part of the union pissing the money away?

    This is subbing - sure lots of retired subs are also against it - one fellow tells the VPs - only phone me if you've asked all the new subs - only call me as a last resort. But not everyone is like that.

    I don't know who is to blame for the above - the VP in my opinion. The other School VP is excellent he always calls the new teachers first - 1 because we need to learn the job, 2) because we always say yes no matter what - retired teachers want the money and they also want to pick the easiest class - no Shop no PE, no Foods, no grade 7, 8, 9 no kindergarten, grade 1.

    So that VP gets annoyed with them - cause you have to prod them and they're still going to make $500 a day.

    The whole system needs a major overhaul - but I don't trust the government to do it (teachers are government though). It only makes sense for educators to be involved in what is best for education as fire fighters decide what is best for putting out fires, and doctors decide what is best for patients.

    Educators know that what is best is class sizes should be no bigger than 15 and 12 being ideal - South Korea private schools ensure that - which is why the 9 year old girls I was teaching a mere 3 hours a day could write better than 80% of the grade SEVEN (13year olds) students I taught in Canada! Not to mention were more civilized human beings on all fronts - But In Canada with 27 and half the class spent with the clown or the autistic kid - well education becomes "here do this work - hope you can figure it out on your own." Worse for subs who just take them out to the playground because they can't destroy the classroom.

  17. #42
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Hey, you're the one that called me out to play by putting words in my mouth.
    ...
    Oh sorry, it was just my crazy, wild interpretation of what you said.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    ...
    Remember, unions are known for holding back production to meet the lowest common denominator and keeping the most useless employed long after their usefulness has gone. That's where we are now.
    ...
    Yes it's true, unions have had that effect too often.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    ...
    No, you don't have to justify your work to me. ...
    But, since it seems that you feel that you needed a union to protect you like a factory worker, perhaps you should have justified it to your company when you saw it coming. Apparantly, your company couldn't see it in your work and didn't share your opinion on your invaluable contributions. Remember, they are profit-driven and if they felt you added to that, you most likely would still be there. This isn't Logan's Run and there was no law saying they HAD to let you go.
    What's true is that companies are exist to make a profit, and to that extent I don't actually "blame" the company I worked for -- they were only doing what they believed was to that end. And I think I think it was a policy that worked -- the policy was to exploit older workers.

    Apparently you prefer to believe that their treatment of me was a personal matter, not a general policy. You are wrong. And apparently you prefer to believe that abuse of bargaining is all on the side of unions and that companies don't systematically exploit vulnerable workers -- You're wrong about that too.

    Exploitation of vulnerable workers is exactly why unions came into being in the first place. It is no coincidence that the decline of unions in North American last 40 years has seen the decline of middle class incomes in the same time period. It is acknowledged that higher union wage raised the wages & salaries of non-unionized workers too.

    Many years ago, J.K. Galbraith wrote the book, The New Industrial State, in which he discussed, (among other things), a three-way balance between private business, government, and unions: this balance had been lost with the power shifting relentlessly to private business. The consequence has been the decline of the middle class in American -- this trend will continue because there is no political insight or will to check it.

  18. #43
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    Hey RGA. B.C. is not alone.

    Here's a message from Ontario's Premier, released this morning...

    Print Article: Dalton McGuinty pitches wage freeze to teachers on YouTube - Toronto - CBC News

    ...
    The McGuinty governement's requests are extremely reasonable, IMO, under the circumstance of Ontario's debt & deficit and circumstances in the current economy.

    There's no getting away with the fact that public service unions have exploited their ability to the "strike against the public", (as I've put it). But this "union greed" as generally been complemented by govenment's ability & willingness to simply pass on the costs to the taxpayers. Now we have a government that has less of the ability & willingness, and it is saying, "Enough already!". (Bloody heck! Am I sounding like Markw? Crap!)

    But it isn't just governments who were willing, when they could, to pass on costs to their consumers. It's been true from time to time of private business too, especially in times of constrained competition, e.g. the North American auto industry in the '50s. The consequence was the same -- wages & benefits for their workers far in excess of workers in more competitive industries. The time for redress comes around.

  19. #44
    Ajani
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    One of the arguments I find truly puzzling is the notion that teachers should teach solely because they love it and money shouldn't matter. Yet for professions where laziness or incompetence can mean the difference between life and death, such as law and medicine, we don't expect them to work solely because it is a calling. Many persons choose to become lawyers or doctors because of the income generating potential and the prestige associated with those professions.

    I don't see how we can all claim to value teachers, yet the moment they ask for a cost of living increase, we tell them to find a new career.

    I see 2 courses of action:

    1) raise taxes and improve the education system, including teachers' wages (perhaps linked to some kind of performance based measures).

    2) cut taxes and let all schools become private. Then, if you can afford it, you send your kid to a good school. If you can't afford it, well, you're stuck with whatever education is available at cheaper schools.

  20. #45
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    One of the arguments I find truly puzzling is the notion that teachers should teach solely because they love it and money shouldn't matter. Yet for professions where laziness or incompetence can mean the difference between life and death, such as law and medicine, we don't expect them to work solely because it is a calling. Many persons choose to become lawyers or doctors because of the income generating potential and the prestige associated with those professions.

    I don't see how we can all claim to value teachers, yet the moment they ask for a cost of living increase, we tell them to find a new career.

    I see 2 courses of action:

    1) raise taxes and improve the education system, including teachers' wages (perhaps linked to some kind of performance based measures).

    2) cut taxes and let all schools become private. Then, if you can afford it, you send your kid to a good school. If you can't afford it, well, you're stuck with whatever education is available at cheaper schools.
    Ah, Ajani, but you're a teacher, No?

    However my earlier remarks can be construed, I do strongly believe in public education and I do believe that it's underfunded if anything. (It's our countries' future, afterall.)

    A private school system, even combined with a voucher-styke funding, would hasten the decline of our North American economies and societies.

  21. #46
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    One of the arguments I find truly puzzling is the notion that teachers should teach solely because they love it and money shouldn't matter. Yet for professions where laziness or incompetence can mean the difference between life and death, such as law and medicine, we don't expect them to work solely because it is a calling. Many persons choose to become lawyers or doctors because of the income generating potential and the prestige associated with those professions.

    I don't see how we can all claim to value teachers, yet the moment they ask for a cost of living increase, we tell them to find a new career.
    That's a valid point. I don't think that money shouldn't matter. I think that money does matter...and should matter. It certainly matters to me. As much as I enjoy my job, I wouldn't do it for free. Nor do I think that asking for a COL increase is unreasonable. But the increase should be based on the affordability to pay it. I can't speak for BC because I don't know the Province's situation. In Ontario, the gov't is running at a deficit. If my company is in the red, I'm not likely to get a pay increase. I don't see why public service workers should be any different. There's no money. That's the reality. Blame the guy who you elected based on his platform of no tax increases.

    Secondly, it's the teachers union who say that they teach for the love of it; that they are fighting for a better system, smaller classes, etc. Then in the same sentence they ask for higher salaries. Well, if there's no money for smaller class sizes, music and creative arts programs, after school programs, etc. then where is the money for salary increases supposed to come from?

    I wonder if you gave the union the choice between smaller class sizes or 5 years of guaranteed COL increases, which one they would choose.

  22. #47
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Ah, Ajani, but you're a teacher, No?

    However my earlier remarks can be construed, I do strongly believe in public education and I do believe that it's underfunded if anything. (It's our countries' future, afterall.)

    A private school system, even combined with a voucher-styke funding, would hasten the decline of our North American economies and societies.
    I lecture at a university, so I don't face the same problems as most teachers. My job requirements and pay are more about research than teaching. While you won't get rich from lecturing, you can make a very respectable middle class salary - unlike teaching in high school.

  23. #48
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post

    But education is not an essential service - not like Police or Medical or Fire Department. It's not life or death...
    Tell that to kids in East St. Louis or Baltimore or Compton or inner city Detroit or in Swishy's neighborhood...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  24. #49
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Actually, I'm done being flippant about what is clearly a hot topic and one that certainly has impactful implications...and I recognize that both sides may have some merit.

    If I may pose a question to my Canadian bretheren, are there any underlying budgetary constraints that would have predicated the government's behavior? Y'all have such a seemingly stable economy up there I confess to rarely following things economic Canuckian except for lumber...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  25. #50
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Oh sorry, it was just my crazy, wild interpretation of what you said.
    Yeah, you're nutz as bridge mix. So, you don't like what George Meany says, so you put words in my mouth and pick a fight with me. Not once, but twice from the same post. Poor baby. How could I not think otherwise?

    Or, perhaps you were just simply itching for a fight to begin with. Congratulations, you got it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Yes it's true, unions have had that effect too often.
    And yet, we have only your word that you were a contributinfg member of the team. Maybe it's like I said in my first post that you simply over-value your contrubutions. From your confrontational attitude in this forum, I gotta say, I wouldn't be too inclined to keep you on if the opportunity arose to dump you, or even work with you in the first place. Perhaps others that worked with you share my opinion. You might want to investigate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    What's true is that companies are exist to make a profit, and to that extent I don't actually "blame" the company I worked for -- they were only doing what they believed was to that end. And I think I think it was a policy that worked -- the policy was to exploit older workers.

    Apparently you prefer to believe that their treatment of me was a personal matter, not a general policy. You are wrong. And apparently you prefer to believe that abuse of bargaining is all on the side of unions and that companies don't systematically exploit vulnerable workers -- You're wrong about that too.

    Exploitation of vulnerable workers is exactly why unions came into being in the first place. It is no coincidence that the decline of unions in North American last 40 years has seen the decline of middle class incomes in the same time period. It is acknowledged that higher union wage raised the wages & salaries of non-unionized workers too.

    Many years ago, J.K. Galbraith wrote the book, The New Industrial State, in which he discussed, (among other things), a three-way balance between private business, government, and unions: this balance had been lost with the power shifting relentlessly to private business. The consequence has been the decline of the middle class in American -- this trend will continue because there is no political insight or will to check it.
    All the books in the world notwithstanding, nobody forced you into your profession. It didn't have union protection when you entered it and it didn't get it while you were there. If you really felt you needed the protection of a union then perhaps you should have taken haven in one of those protected jobs.

    ...but you didn't. You chose to go for the big bucks of a non-union job and all the risks that implied. So, buck up, put on your big girl panties, and accept the fact that you've got to live with the consequences of your choices and quitcher*****in, old man.
    Last edited by markw; 03-05-2012 at 08:39 AM.

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