BC government ad campaign against teachers' demands backfires on social media

A BC government ad campaign drew heavy criticism on social media, with many wondering why the province was spending public funds to push the idea that teachers' unreasonable demands were to blame for the collapse of negotiations.

Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa

Earlier this week, the province put out full-page, front page ad in 24Hrs and tweeted an infographic saying "teachers deserve a fair wage but it needs to be affordable." 

The infographic drew immediate responses on social media, with some people questioning why the province was spending funds on an ad campaign to persuade the public that teachers' demands were unreasonable.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said on Thursday he was "disappointed" by the BC Teachers Federation's demands, presented on Wednesday, which he said are "more than twice what other unions have settled for". 

At the core of the teachers' demands were: 

  • an 8 per cent salary increase over five years (reduced from 14 per cent demand earlier). The starting teacher earns $48,083 a year.
  • a $225 million workload fund to address issues of class size, class composition, and staffing ratios 
  • a $225 million retroactive grievances fund as a resolution to Justice Griffin’s BC Supreme Court decision, which would be used to address other working conditions like preparation time and TTOC compensation improvements, as well as modest improvements to health benefits.

On Friday, the provincial BC Education Plan group issued the following tweet: 

The infographic sparked a flurry of angry responses: 

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