Broken down by hours, teacher salaries put other jobs to shame

Editor: The 2011/2012 “Standard School Calendar” from the School Act indicates that school will be in session for 193 days with 186 days of instruction. As described in the story (LTA holds ‘mark-in’ at mall, The Times, Jan. 26) teachers are required to be at work 15 minutes before and after students leave making a paid work day of 6.5 hours. So over the 186 days in a school year a typical teacher is required to spend approximately 1,209 non-lunch hours at their workplace. Add another seven days (at eight hours per day) for professional development/report card preparation and you have a required work year of approximately 1,265 hours.

In British Columbia, a standard work year (for employees with two weeks of holidays) is 1,928 hours. So a teacher works approximately 663 fewer hours than a typically employed British Columbian.

In order for teachers to approach the same number of work hours as a typical British Columbian they would have to do over 3.5 hours of marking for each and every day school was in session. While I know a lot of hard-working teachers, I have never heard of a teacher who could convince his/her students to produce enough homework to keep them gainfully marking for 3.5 hours each and every work night.

In the same story I read that teachers earn an average salary of $70,741. If you count only the work hours that works out to a rate of almost $56/hour. This is the average salary for an employee with an undergraduate degree?

Even that magical teacher who somehow manages to work 1,928 hours a year pulls in a hefty $36.70/hour. To top it all off, at the end of their career they are eligible for a pension which for a 35-year employee is equivalent to approximately 70 per cent of their annual salary, for life.

It is no wonder students flood into teacher’s colleges. The salary and benefit package puts virtually any private sector job to shame.

Blair King

Langley