Saturday, October 15, 2005

Responding to comments *updated*

First of all - anonymous commenter Mike, still make your blog! Then leave me the link. Are you Mike from my school Mike, or Mike I don't know you so hello nice to meet you Mike? :) (The personal address in the comment jsut made me wonder if I knew you!)

These are responses to comments left on the "Good ol' Gordo" post...

Nollind, thanks for all your comments! I appreciate the support. Just try to keep comments less personal ("I feel sorry for you," that kind of thing). It's easier to debate when one doesn't feel belittled. Thanks!

Josef, I've kind of thought about that option, and yeah, teacher's can't jsut "go find another job." It's not that simple. And the thing is, the vast majority of teachers love what they do, and do'nt WANT to do something else.

I understand that you're talking about quitting with the intention of returning once things are settled, but that would actually be a much riskier situation, becuase if the government still didn't bend, there'd be no guarantees of getting jobs back, etc etc etc. It would be an ingenious idea though. But it's not quite as simple as that.

And I have to aggree with Nollind that the only reason it's illegal is because of the law tehy created to squash even the job action that fell into the government's OWN essential services legislation. They won't bargain, and won't allow even minimal job action that wasn't affecting kids (all teachers were donig was makig admin do supervision and not doing administrative paperwork). There are major changes that need to be made to the education system, and there is absolutely no venue for those changes to be made. The government has talked about "Round Tables" to discuss, but these are not binding. So we can talk and talk and talk, but there are no guarantees that anything will change. That's why we want class lize limits and guarantees for kids with special needs built into the contract.

Anyway, there is really no other avenue to fix what's going on in public schools right now than to strike, and unfortunately that's a right the governemnt has decided to take away from us and call illegal. But still, something has to be done.

I saw the sign below at the rally downtown last week, and I think it sums things up well.

"There is a big difference between breaking the law and having a law created to break you" ~ (I dont know who said this originally... anyone care to share?)


Anonymous Nollind Whachell said...

Awesome sign! You're right, it does say it all.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Josef said...

Thanks for the reply :-). At least I made an amateur try at a peace deal.

But I'd advise you to read THIS blogpost by Peaktalk if you could for the other side.

Finally I don't think Premier Campbell and his bunch, several of whom (mostly staffers) I know from 4-5 years back in opposition are the sort to back down.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Josef said...

Food for thought, from a newspaper I consider a bit... left - The Province.

12:23 AM  
Blogger John said...

hey, i think the teachers are totally right and should keep making a stand.

If i'm ever in a union by the time a general strike comes around then i'm totally in.

the main problem with this government, is they don't think they are accountable to anyone. The think they are above the law, and can just create new laws when the current ones get in there way.

as a fun side note, the bcliberal plan for economic recovery is strikingly similar to hitlers plan in pre WWII germany. 1) coperate tax cuts 2) destroy unions 3) percecution of minorities (does anyone remember that referendum we had on how to deal with BC's native treaties). SO its nice to know that we've elected a group of fascists that want to bring things back to the 'good old days' when coperations and goverment have all the power, and the people are helpless to fight it.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Harp Girl said...

Hi Hillary!

Good wishes coming to you from a student teacher in Kitchener, Ontario!

Hang in there!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Nollind Whachell said...

Geez Josef, I'm not already two paragraphs in on the "Strike or Shakedown" post and I'm shaking my head on this person's so called "perspective".

"Militant teachers"? How about Dictator-like Government?

"...the way in which the Left has forced our society to abandon concepts of right and wrong" Say what? I think that should say the Right.

Again this is really simple here. Who cares about the welfare of the children? The teachers that's who. Please show me how the government cares about the children? The government is investing no money into the education system because the government only cares about money, not the children. The governement does not care about the breakdown of the education system and the students that are being affected by it. The teachers DO which is why they are acting NOW and taking a stand.

Ok just read some more. This person is a perfect example of people who are out of touch with really what is going on here and are making assumptions because of their lack of knowledge.

"how it has succeeded in doing that with the help of a number of compliant institutions, most notably, the media" Uh, try turning on the TV. This is hilarious. The person who posted that said they live in Vancouver, although it doesn't sound like it to me. If you've been watching TV in BC you would have seen how the media has actually been supporting the government with their slanted coverage for most of the strike except for the last few days since they can't hide the strong support that is coming from most of the public (although they are still trying). I've been watching Global TV, maybe they were watching another station?

"why this no longer is an issue about money or class size" Right it has nothing to do with money from the teachers standpoint (but from the government it has EVERYTHING to do with money). Wrong, it has everything to do with class size. The effectiveness of the children's long term education is what this strike is about and class sizes are one of the main issues in relation to it. That's the problem is that most people have no clue as to the negative impact that adding a handful of students can do to a student's education and we're not even talking about students with special needs here. Again focus on the real source and issue of this initially legal strike BEFORE the government decided to pass a law and suddenly make it illegal.

"Ignoring a pre-agreed conflict resolution mechanism and following it up by contempt of court would land you and me in jail" Exactly right! But that's just it! Gordon Campbell's government is the one that ignored the pre-agreed conflict resolution mechanism and decided to tear it up and break it by coming up with a new law that made the previous agreement illegal. Man, getting tired of repeating this. If anyone should be in jail, it should be Gordon Campbell and his government for tearing up a pre-agreed contract and coming up with their own AND, even worse, saying it was a collective agreement when the teacher's had NOTHING to do with it. He not only broke the contract he lied outright to the public saying it was a "collective" agreement.

"If a generation of children here is being educated by a militant union that has lost the moral compass to make a distinction between right and wrong and incites its members to ignore court orders than maybe parents do need to speak up to fix a system that is badly broken." Moral compass? Again, I ask you? Who cares about the children the most? The government is only focused on money. Are you telling me focusing just on money and ignoring these children is good morals? At least they said the parents do need to speak up to the government to get things fixed. First thing that has actually made sense in that post.

Ok, I've had enough reading of that. I just have to laugh how people who are preaching about democracy can say that civil disobedience is a bad thing? Uh, hello? In a democracy the government is supposed to be the voice of the people. If it isn't listening to the people, then the people have every right to speak their mind and complain about things so that the government again realizes its place within a democracy. I mean as I said above, if they don't listen to the people and do their own will, then they may as well be a dictatorship.

By all means to avoid further discussion, please tell me what your definition of a democracy is and how it doesn't involve the government respresenting the people and listening to the people's voice. And please don't tell me about the voting thing again. So are you saying that once a government gets voted in they can do whatever the hell they want without listening to the ongoing voice of the people? If that's the case then we need to throw out the four year term deal they get and allow them to work on a week by week basis instead! :)

PS. The second Province article link you listed isn't as bad. They are right, democracy is obviously a fragile thing because the elected government can obviously take away your legal rights at a moments notice, and make them illegal, without you being able to do anything about it. That's the lesson I'd tell to students.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Hillary said...

Josef - could you please just copy and paste url's to the comments instead of making links? The links do'nt open in a separqate window, and you can't usea "back" button to get back to the comments. Thanks!

8:38 PM  

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