Thursday, June 19, 2014


The Need for a Healthy Learning Environment

'Stress levels in our public schools are palatable' says local teacher

Submitted by Rosanna Forstbauer, Chilliwack teacher


n your June 10, 2013 letter to Minister Fassbender you wrote:


 “We are fortunate in our province to have many great teachers in our province, but unfortunately too often they find themselves caught in the middle of labour disputes – feeling like they have to choose sides between their students and their union.” 


I am writing you today to clear up this misunderstanding and misrepresentation of our situation as teachers.

Unfortunately, over the past 12 years, our labour dispute has been predominately with you. 

Furthermore, we are not trying to choose sides between our students and our union because our union is on the side of our students. The choice we are being forced to make is – Do we want to make sacrifices today for a better tomorrow? The overwhelming answer is YES!

Teachers are willing to loose pay and sacrifice the extra-curricular activities of their own children to fight for public education. As difficult as it is, we have walked off the job, disappointed students, and inconvenienced parents for the future of public of education. This battle, as much as the media would like to say, is NOT about wages. 

This battle is about our students’ learning conditions and the health and well being of our teachers. The stress levels in our public schools are palatable. Administrators, teachers, educational assistance, and other support staff are at the breaking point. 

The request of tens of thousands from across the province – be it parents, students, teachers, administrators, school trustees or other members of the public, is simple: respect and invest in public education.

Please be truthful and honest with the public about the intentions of your government. Please listen to the stories, the first hand accounts, of what is happening in our public schools. Please take all this into consideration and give students, teachers and public education adequate funding and a fair deal for all.

Public educators are standing up and speaking out for the most vulnerable. Please hear our cry, listen and take action.


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