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Your Views

June 9, 2015

What are you anticipating the most as the end of the school year approaches?


Erin Heward: Drinking an entire cup of coffee … while it's still hot.

Kim Brake Howlett: Wish: Sleep in, relax and read! Reality: two courses toward my masters!

Alex Bernier: Seeing those Grade 12s walk across the stage. Such a rewarding experience seeing how much they have grown and matured in three years.

Katherine Pinder: Putting my toddler to bed and then being able to relax for the rest of the evening, instead of marking, planning, and so on!

Daniel Nelles: Spending some quality time with my own kids! Getting caught up on the "to do" list around the house ... it's gotten a bit long.

Jenna Greene: Being able to pee whenever I need to.

Lynsey Richards: Reflecting on the growth of my students over the past year and feeling proud!

Catherine MacLellan: Moving into a new classroom (it's bigger and brighter) and getting to read for pleasure!

Wendy Solland: Being able to sit down while eating my lunch.

Lori Irvine-Pickerell: To relax and not "have" to do anything! No marking, no shopping for groceries for my class!!! And of course: sleep in!

Amy Golightly: Being a second-year teacher and actually having the summer to plan and set up my classroom for next year!

Stacey Bee: Reconnecting with my family and feeling great about the year we just had! I had an awesome group of students and families that I'll miss very much!

Mat Clue-star: Seeing glimmer on my students' faces as they hold their high school diplomas high and proud!

Cherra-Lynne Olthof: The hugs and high-fives I'm going to get when I say goodbye to my Grade 6s. I have had the BEST time with them this year.

Matthew Tripp: Preparing for my new position as an assistant principal at a new school. And getting prepared for twins.

Michele Marples Meijer: Enjoying some much deserved family time and a leisurely lunch.


Help your students by fighting minimum wage law

Despite all the preparation we give young people entering the job market, they don’t get hired. Employers would love to employ more inexperienced youths; they become skilled labour for the future.

Experience is clearly the most important asset a potential employee can have. Supporting any minimum wage at all makes it harder for young, unskilled workers to get experience because it becomes better for employers to hire more experienced workers at the higher wage or to automate.

As advocates for our students, teachers and the Alberta Teachers’ Association clearly should be fighting against the minimum wage in any form. Everywhere where the minimum wage is enacted and raised, young people have lost out on jobs that could have given them the experience they needed to move up to better, higher paying jobs. Think about your first job. Money isn’t the only thing that a job provides.

Minimum wage isn’t a law forbidding employers from paying below a certain wage. Minimum wage is a law preventing workers from offering their services for below a certain price. It is a law restricting the freedom of workers to enter into contracts.

When the price of a product goes up, demand for that product goes down. Labour is a product like any other, so a higher minimum wage will cost young people their jobs in favor of fewer, more experienced workers.

Research the numbers. Look at unemployment rates for young people and unskilled labourers in regions that have high minimum wages. Think critically, judge results not intentions. Minimum wage sounds and feels good, which is why so many politicians promise to raise it. Make no mistake, minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help. Do what is right for students — fight against minimum wage. ❚

Brian Ross
High school science and math
West View School, Calgary

Published letters represent the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Letters to the editor: We welcome letters to the editor. Please limit your submission to 300 words. Only letters bearing a first and last name, address and daytime telephone number will be considered for publication. Teachers are also asked to indicate where and what they teach. All letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, punctuation, spelling and grammar. Email managing editor Cory Hare:

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