A new survey of Vancouver’s Chinese community indicates a significant difference of opinion from the general population over who is at fault for the ongoing teachers’ labour dispute.
When respondents were asked by Social Insights over who should take responsibility for the teachers’ strike, 39.4 per cent said it was the responsibility of the BCTF versus just 3.9 per cent for the provincial government. Another 44.2 per cent believe both sides were equally to blame.
In contrast, the results of a separate poll by Angus Reid Global, conducted earlier this week to gage the opinion of British Columbians, showed 36 per cent in favour of teachers and 35 per cent in favour of the provincial government. Approximately a quarter of respondents support neither parties.
“This finding paints a different picture from what has been reported in the media from most British Columbians,” said Social Insights partner Sonny Wong. “The sensibilities of the Chinese community are different and should be observed.”
The longer Chinese residents have lived in Canada, the higher the likelihood that they will place the labour dispute responsibility on teachers and their union. Of those that have lived here for 0 to 5 years, 29 per cent believe teachers should take primary responsibility while 34 per cent of those living in Vancouver for 6 to 10 years put the onus on teachers. This is followed by 56 per cent for 11 to 15 year residents and 58 per cent for those living in Vancouver for 16 to 20 years.
As for salary demands, only 7.7 per cent agree that teachers deserve a salary increase, while 43 per cent say that no salary increase is warranted. Almost half or 49.4 per cent believe that any salary increase should correspond with that of other BC unions and another 43 per cent say there should be no increase.
Chinese families believe their children’s education is absolutely vital as it is one of their main motivations for immigrating to Canada. Hence, the strike is a major concern, resulting in an overall 81 per cent for “very concerned” when asked about their degree of concern towards the strike. An additional 16.9 per cent of respondents said they were “concerned.”
On the topic of whether class sizes are too large, the Chinese respondents were equally divided over the issue.
Feature Image: Classroom via Shutterstock