More Worker Bashing in BC, with Squishy Numbers

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Below is a recent tweet from a new worker/NDP/union attack Twitter i.d. talking about how awful unionized workers are. Read it, then let’s de-spin it for sanity:

Average salary in BC $44k, average teacher salary $70k #Underpaid #Overworked #Lies #BCPoli #BCNDP #BCTF

via Twitter / @NotBCNDP: Average salary in BC $44k, ….

Firstly, teachers have at least a four year university degree, plus an extra year of teacher training. The average working person in BC doesn’t have that much training.

Secondly, the average years of experience for teachers is over 12. That puts them at the top of the a long scale of pay increments from increased experience. This comes from a high proportion of baby boomers in the public school system.

Do you think people should be paid more if they have more training and experience?

If not, I’d love to hear why.

The agenda here is to demean skilled workers, unionized workers, public sector workers, highly educated workers and workers who make more than they would than if they weren’t unionized.

The agenda here is to convince non-union workers that they should hate unionized workers and be jealous and angry with what they have. This is part of the class war we’ve been in for decades: turning workers against each other.

Unions provide better wages, working conditions, worker protections, benefits and pensions for people. This is a good thing. Non-union workers should be able to get paid better and have better conditions at work, especially when they’re doing work that is comparable to union work.

So let’s make sure we don’t let worker bashing Twitter sock puppet parody i.d.’s twist statistics without context to continue eroding worker rights and opportunities. This is about making a better future for us all. This is also what the Occupy Movement is all about.

And if you know any non-unionized workers, let’s help them find a union to help improve their lives!

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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4 thoughts on “More Worker Bashing in BC, with Squishy Numbers”

  1. If it weren’t for unions, workers would still be working 12 hr. days for $1.25 an hr. Even if a work place is not unionized many employers will pay their workers a decent wage just to ensure the unions do not win a certification drive.

    As unionized workers are able to improve working conditions & salaries that becomes the norm. It is then easier to have such things as min. wages raised.

    there are people who went on strike to have a 15 min. coffee break & 8 hr. day shifts & 5 day a week work weeks. Because of that our lives are better. We actually have lives & live longer.

    If you look at countries which do not permit unions or have state controlled unions or persecute unions you will find a poor country with much poverty, lower health care standards, poorer educational standards, etc.

    As to people who think teachers are paid too much, go look at a country which doesn’t pay its teachers an adequate salary. Their educational system is in shambles & there are private schools everywhere for those who can afford it.

  2. For those people who think non-union is the way to go. My son has worked for an non-union grocery store in B.C. for two years and it has been nothing but a frustrating experience for him. This was his first job after graduating from high school and what a introduction to the work force! In the first week of working in this store my son was threatened with firing because of a lack of customer relation skills which they never trained him for. The owners of this store, a husband and wife, have years for created an atmosphere of very unhappy, depressed workers who feel as if they are walking on egg shells all the time. The workers are certain they are being watched all the time. They are shown no respect at all in the store. My son has been yelled at in from of customers a few times..When ever my son inquires about getting more hours he is told there are coming and just a month ago the owner hired a new kid who is younger than my son who is now getting more hours than my son while my son’s hours have been cut and the new kid is getting 4 or 5 dollars an hour more than my son. My son can not even bring this up with the manager/owner because it has been made clear that any discussion about wages among employees is an immediate firing! Some employees have been reduced to tears because of the horrible treatment that they receive. I have shopped off and on in this store for 19 years and refuse to even enter this store anymore even though my son is an employee there because the owners have completely snubbed me, which they do to most shoppers, once to often. These people blame competition on their stores problems which to some extent is true but they have a reputation in our town which is not good at all. They run the store like dictators. The turn over in staff is unbelieveable. Just a horrible work place for anybody. I will continue to encourage him to look for another job!!!!!!!!

  3. What do parents do when a small child acts in a way that they don’t like? The simplest way is to distract the child.

    That is precisely what the attack on the so-called gold-plated pensions and supposedly extravagant earnings of workers, in both public and private sectors. While the retiring president of Shaw gets a pension of a million dollars a year, public sector workers are being told there is no money for their very modest pensions to which they themselves have contributed a substantial portion.

    The answer to any disparity between the pensions in the pubic and private sector is surely to improve the pensions for everyone. Except the folks who are collecting million dollar bonuses and pensions.

    1. and one thing the media conveniently leaves out most/all the time is that pensions are deferred wages. it’s money earned and owned by workers, not some kind of insurance policy that only pays out if the climate is good and the directors don’t rob the pension fund.

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