Honourable Peter Fassbender
Ministry of Education
Government of British Columbia
PO Box 9045
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2

Dear Honourable Minister Fassbender,

We write to you on behalf of the Graduate Students’ Association at Carleton University, which represents over 3,600 graduate students. As students, teaching assistants and contract instructors, we disapprove of how the BC government is handling the negotiations with its teachers.

A fair deal means fair compensation for teachers, the ability to negotiate class size and composition, as well as guaranteed levels of specialized teachers. Not only is your government acting as a roadblock to these fair and reasonable demands, but it is also adopting regressive policies that work to undermine the quality of education. With less funding per student than the national average, an entire generation of students is being forced to learn in larger classes, with fewer educational resources. These policies will negatively impact our society for years to come.

We are dismayed by the BC government’s lockout of teachers after they took legal job action—which prevented them from participating in extracurricular activities—as well as the imposition of a 10% reduction in pay. This follows upon previous attempts to impose unconstitutional legislation to limit the scope of collective bargaining, in which it was found by Madam Justice Susan Griffin of the BC Supreme Court that “the government had been intentionally bargaining in bad faith for political gain.” Not only do these actions disrespect teachers as workers, but they promote a hostile environment to work and learn in.

The demands put forward by the BC Teachers’ Federation are reasonable and essential to strengthening the quality of education. We urge you to reconsider your position, treat teachers with respect, and make decisions that will benefit society in the long-term.

Michael Bueckert
Vice President Operations

Justine Mallah
Vice President Academic