Friday, May 16, 2014


So News1130 of Vancouver, British Columbia, reports that members of the BC Teachers Federation are facing a 5% cut in wages if teachers fail to agree to a new deal. Should teachers sign the deal, each one shall get a CAD$1,200 signing bonus. The sum of those bonuses would cost the BC provincial government more that CAD$40 million.

The average wage of a player in the NHL is $2.4 million. NHL players belong to a union, the NHLPA. 

But are NHL hockey players overpaid? It is unlikely that a pro hockey player in the NHL could play in the NBA, whose players earn US$5.15 million on average, nor in the MLB, whose players earn US$3.2 million on average. 

Perhaps a few NHL players could play in the NFL, whose players earn US$1.9 million a season, on average. Yet, most couldn't.

So, the true wage of a NHL player absent his union would be the highest wage he could earn doing something else. The true average wage then for all NHL players would be the average of the highest wage all players could earn doing various work.

If BC teachers weren't teaching, then what kind of work could they do? Let's suppose that BCTF teachers could qualify to do government work. Statistics Canada reports there were 3,631,837 public sector workers earning wages and salaries in 2011.

Statistics Canada also reports that public sector workers were paid CAD$194.19 billion wages and salaries. Dividing total wages paid by total public sector workers gets $53,469.73. On a 40-hour work week and at 52 weeks of work, the average hourly wage for a Canadian government worker across all provinces is CAD$25.71 an hour.

There isn't any federal minimum wage in Canada. Instead Canadians of their respective provinces establish minimum wages through their respective provincial legislatures. 

At $25.71 an hour, that is a whopping 2.5 times the minimum wage of $10.25 an hour for residents of BC.

In spite of what anyone might believe, teachers rarely improve their skills after their first year teaching. So, a teacher working 20 years who claims to have 20 years experience truly only has one year experience repeated 20 times. 

Even if a teacher improves her skills during the first two or three years work, any improvement thereafter likely is insignificant. 

Of course, what holds back teachers from improving their skills is their Luddite fight against any capital, which would improve their productivity.

BC teachers get paid in steps by categories. To create a representative table of salaries for BC teachers, I have averaged the pay tables for Metro Vancouver, since the lion's share of school-aged population lives there and thus likely the lion's share of teachers in BC.

So, BC teachers need to justify why a teacher at step 10 in category 6+ should get paid $39.33 an hour or 1.3 times that of the average government worker and nearly four times (3.84) the minimum wage worker.

In the meantime, unionized BC teachers shall tell the same big lie that all unionized teachers tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment