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RSR Survey - THE Government of BC/BC Teachers Mediation Survey
  Jun 07, 2014

This RSR Survey of the BC Government and BC Teachers disagreement paints a vivid picture of the changing dynamic of opinion and temperament among B.C. voters relating to the needs of public schools in the provincial education system.
The questions relate to class size, increased funding for children with special needs, teachers wage increases, and government's ability to ensure that teaching standards are kept high.
The outcomes support the BC Teachers, expect for support for the BC Government's authority to ensure that all BC Teachers are competent and able to teach to a high standard.

Question #1
The City of Seattle has introduced a $15 minimum wage from a State minimum wage set at $9. This new minimum wage does not apply to non adults. In your opinion should Greater Vancouver introduce a minimum wage of $15 from the current $10?
Yes    52 %
No    30 %
No opinion/undecided    17 %
Question #2
There is controversy surrounding the use of increased foreign workers in BC and Canada, particularly in jobs such as fast food restaurants. Business owners involved insist that residents won't take these jobs, while labour advocates insist it is an effort by business to suppress wages by using less expensive labour. Which of the following do you believe best depicts how you personally perceive this controversy?
Foreign workers are used to keep wages low and a higher minimum wage might solve the controversy    56 %
Some foreign workers are necessary to fill jobs and to ensure consumer prices do not inflate    22 %
No opinion/undecided    22 %
Question #3
Generally speaking, who do you support in the BC Teachers/Government disagreement?
BC Teachers    48 %
Government of BC    27 %
No opinion/undecided    25 %
Question #4
Do you believe class size in public schools is a problem because there are too many children in each classroom?
Yes    66 %
No    25 %
No opinion/undecided    9 %
Question #5
Do you believe more resources are required for students with special needs educational requirements?
Yes    82 %
No    13 %
No opinion/undecided    5 %
Question #6
Do you believe that BC public school teachers deserve a wage increase?
Yes    60 %
No    32 %
No opinion/undecided    8 %
Question #7
(For those who answered "yes" in Q #6) From the following percentages provided as response choices which percentage over a five year contract do you find most acceptable as a wage increase for teachers?
5%    20 %
7%    17 %
10%    27 %
15%    15 %
20%    9 %
No opinion/undecided    12 %
Question #8
Do you believe teachers should perform extra curricular school activities for free?
Yes    9 %
No    71 %
No opinion/undecided    20 %
Question #9
Do you support the BC Government continuing to pay one half of the yearly tuition fees for children who choose to attend independent non public schools?
Yes    24 %
No    62 %
No opinion/undecided    11 %
Question #10
Should the Government of British Columbia be permitted to have authority by reasonable means to ensure that all BC Teachers are sufficiently competent to perform their teaching duties to a high standard?
Yes    72 %
No    12 %
No opinion/undecided    15 %
Commentary
Our RSR double baseline questions 1 and 2 reveal that voters residing in Greater Vancouver (a) support a $15 minimum wage as has been introduced in Seattle Washington 5 hours to the south of us. Washington State's minimum wage is currently $1 per hour lower than that of Greater Vancouver's.
British Columbians are not buying the business side of the foreign worker controversy and believe it to be an excuse to suppress wages.
British Columbians in this survey unequivocally support (a) lower class sizes, (b) more resources for children with special needs, (c) a pay increase for teachers, (d) that teachers should not perform extra curricular activities for free, (e) that the BC Government should be permitted to have authority by reasonable means to ensure that all BC Teachers are sufficiently competent to perform their teaching duties to a high standard, (e) that Government should not provide funding for independent schools.
Conclusions
From this RSR Survey it is crystal clear that the voting public is more supportive of the claims of BC Teachers than they are the position of the BC Government in matters relating to class size, funding for children with special needs requirements, teachers wages and other resource needs.
The public see the BC Government as failing to solve problems with deficiencies in the school system which they pay for with taxes. There is noteworthy anecdote commenting on the failure of the BC Government to pay compensation ordered by the Supreme Court, which calls into question the good faith of the former and the authority of the latter with the BC voting public.
However, it is also crystal clear even among respondents who support all aspects of the BC Teachers demands that the BC Government should be permitted to ensure on behalf of tax payers that teachers working in the province are operating to a high standard.
The disagreement between the BC Government and BC Teachers Federation is begging for a resolution. The public is fed up and credibility for both sides, but particularly for the government on this issue is declining rapidly.
There is sufficient information derived in this RSR Survey from which to find a resolve to the impasse and we recommend that each party to the dispute takes these suggestions under advisement in the public interest.
Methodology: This is a targeted survey of 1013 BC voters from the last general provincial election of May 2013. This survey was undertaken between May 25 and June 1, 2014 and features a margin of error of 3% plus or minus at 95% confidence.
for RSR Research Kellie Robbins

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