Teachers have nothing to complain about when it comes to wages

Excellent wages and great benefits with a lot of time off. You are complaining when the exact same thing happens in Alberta and Ontario.

Re: “Teacher’s point of view on education dispute,” February 29

The education budget in B.C. for 2012-2013 is $14.7 billion with taxpayer population of 4,510,858, Alberta for 2012-2013 is $7.1 billion with taxpayer population of 3,724,832, Ontario for 2012-2013 is $24 billion with taxpayer population of 13,210,667.  Paycheque tax rates for B.C. are 5.06 per cent, Ontario is 5.05 and Alberta is 10. Teachers are highest paid in Ontario because of the number of taxpayers, Alberta next because of the high tax deductions and B.C. is in third.

You teachers can accumulate sick days and receive a lump sum payment upon retirement for sick days not used. In some cases, this could total $44,000. Your fellow taxpayers in regular private jobs don’t have this benefit.

In one year, $337,805,545 was paid to the B.C. teachers’ pension plan. This was $104,725,123 more than the total of all B.C. school employees’ total remittance to Canada Revenue for Canada Pension plan, both employer and employee, Employment Insurance, both employer and employee, and Income Tax deductions totalling $233,080,422. Remember the employer portion is the B.C. taxpayer. Of all benefit payments, 37 per cent of the total goes to the B.C. teachers’ pension plan.

The present BCTF TV commercial shows that B.C. teachers are number nine in wages in Canada. This is bogus and propaganda and should be removed.

The Alberta government is asking for a teacher wage freeze with zero increase. The Ontario government is proposing teacher wage freeze with zero increase.

You teachers work 188 days per year after all professional days, stat holidays, Christmas and Easter breaks and summer holidays. Us regular taxpayers work 238 days after stat holidays, and maybe get 15 days of annual vacation.

Your B.C. Pension Plan contribution is about 24 per cent per month based on your salary with 13 per cent of that paid by the B.C. taxpayers.

You complain of portable classroom and student class size, exactly what is happening in Alberta and Ontario.

You teachers have an excellent benefit package in comparison to your fellow taxpayers in the private sector. A Port Alberni teacher, age 57, retired with B.C. teacher pension of $2,300 per month, in 2008. If he waited until 2011, he would get $3,000 per month. Now add Canada Pension Plan if he wishes to take it at age 60, he is living very comfortably.

If he waits until age 65 to take Canada pension plan then all that more and add on Old Age Security, what a wonderful life.

One thing to remember though, all that money does not cure you from cancer. Remember, a large majority of your fellow taxpayers end up with Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security and in some cases an RRSP pension and an employer pension fund, but remember not everyone is like you teachers.

In summary, I don’t believe you have anything to complain about. Presently excellent wages and great benefits with a lot of time off. You are complaining when the exact same thing happens in Alberta and Ontario.

The world is in an economic crisis, but that is part of history, and will turn around, but that we have to wait for.

The minister of education is trying to tell you teachers that pay raises will come when the world crises turn around, but no, you want everything now.

Unbelievable, from well educated people like yourselves.

Joe Sawchuk

Duncan