So I Got Called Greedy Today

So I got called greedy today.

I was driving to work, turned on the radio and lo and behold! The melodic sound of Christy Clark’s voice filled the passenger cabin. Apparently she is on another Sound Bytes Over Facts media tour and I was lucky enough to flip her off… I mean flip her on, just as she was calling teachers “GREEDY!”

After getting a hold of myself and resisting the urge to drive into oncoming traffic, I began to wonder. How much does a MLA cost as compared to a teacher?

We are constantly hearing how much teachers want and how much teachers cost but who costs more? Who gives the biggest bang for the tax payers buck?

Now my approach to this calculation is going to be crude, I am not going to itemize facility costs, support staff cost, supply costs. I am just going to take the total cost to run the Legislature and the total cost to run the School System and break it down on a per MLA and per Teacher basis, as if MLA’s and Teachers pocket the whole budget. So here goes nothing.

Since BC Liberals took power total MLA compensation and Legislature operational costs rose from $36 Million to $70 Million. That is a whopping 94% increase to do business in just 11 years. To add insult to injury, in 2013 MLA’s sat for only 36 days.

Tyee Spending Costs Explode
CBC No Fall Legislative Session
Globe & Mail BC Legislature Sits 36 of 572 Days
Globe & Mail Liberals, NDP Back Speaker

Compare this the operational costs of BC Schools, which went from 3.6 Billion to 4.7 billion in the same period of time. That is a 30% increase to run and organization that is 352 times bigger than the Legislature.

2001/02 funding 
2012/13 funding 

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Although there is a segment of the population who will read this and immediately jump to the tired old refrain of “Quit your whining and get to work”. My hope that my readers who are remotely rational, will see the absurdity of a someone like Christy Clark saying “Teachers cost too much, teachers are greedy”, when she is sucking off the tax payer’s teat harder than anyone.

So this is my message to Ms. Clark.

Before you go pointing a finger at someone and calling them greedy, perhaps you should check your narcissism at the door and realize there are three other fingers on your hand pointing directly back at you.

It is people like Christy who give politicians a bad name

Note: These numbers are based on a simple Internet search. If someone has more accurate numbers, please share.


  1. Eric

    Well said! Simply put and to the point. Despite your keen and accurate observations I don’t think her sociopathic mindset will care one bit.

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  2. David

    I don’t disagree Keith but your percent increase is wrong for the MLAs. $70 Million represents a 94.4% increase over $36 Million.

    1. Post

      WOW! Thanks for that. I haven’t had a Dyslexia moment like that for years. Old cognitive deficiencies die hard.

  3. el peters

    Great analysis! I also love how MLAs seem to get a disproportionate increase RIGHT AFTER all the public sector pay increases are given (or not)! It’s almost as if their INCREASE is based on others’ NON-INCREASES!

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  4. Twyla

    Everyone knows teachers work hard and are appreciated. But perhaps it would be helpful instead of comparing yourselves to MLA’s to compare yourselves to the rest of us hardworking folk!

    1. Post

      Would actually like to crunch those numbers but I am guessing that would not be so easy to calculate. Teachers and MLA’s are easy. One budget applies to each so it was dead simple.

  5. RaiseSalariesNow

    Teachers and support staff that directly teach usefull things like mathematics,history, French, power mechanics and technical writing with success are underpaid by at least 30%. Those that teach subjects that belong in Churches or private clubs like “Social Responsibility” or “Hockey” should be redeployed into usefull areas or laid off. Any teacher that short changes students by having them make posters or watch movies instead of developing real world skills should not be paid at all.

    1. Post

      There is lots of variability when it comes to pay in the school system. Virtually all of it based on education but most support staff have degrees these days as well; however, they don’t get paid anywhere near what teachers do.

      Just look at Early Childhood Education or ECE. You can have a degree Bachelors or even Masters in that and you still get paid crap wages because people just consider it to be baby sitting. Some suggest this is because historically, child care was “woman’s work” and why would we pay for that?

    2. Ph

      Thanks for the great post Keith!

      I just need to reply to RaiseSalariesNow regarding the focus on Social Responsibility. While I’m still a year away from receiving my Master’s Degree in Education, I am currently enrolled in a course on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

      Before beginning this course I recognized that it was important to report to parents on the Social Responsibility skills of their children – partly because the government told me to and partly because I, as a parent, wanted to know that information about my own children.

      Much of the reading so far in my course has been about the research that has been done on SEL. The reason for an increased focus on Social and Emotional Learning in schools is clearly stated in the attached article (I hope it attaches… I’ll put the reference below just in case).

      “Children who experience social-emotional and behavioural problems are
      now recognized as being at risk, not only for poor interpersonal relationships,
      but also for limited school and life success. Over a century of research has
      shown that aggression and antisocial behaviors among children and youth are
      associated with both short-term and long-term adjustment problems such as
      criminality, unemployment, and mental health problems (for further discussion
      see Coie & Dodge, 1998; Tremblay, 2000, 2003; Vaillancourt & Hymel, 2004)
      as well as school difficulties such as grade retention (e.g., Rodney, Crafter,
      Rodney, & Mupier, 1999).” (p.5)

      We have the opportunity, and the obligation to help students learn about how manage themselves and deal with others to become the best people they can be.

      Hymel, S., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Miller, L. D. (2006). Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and relationships: Considering the social side of education. Exceptionality Education Canada, 16, 149-191.

  6. Teri

    you hit the nail on the head Krispin. Teachers have to pay and go to 5 years of school just for elementery teaching. ECE’s are JUST as important as THEY are raising your child for 8 to 9 hours, 5 days a week. Neither teacher’s or ECE’s get the respect for themselves or their so important job that is deserved.There are two VERY important to a healthy society, one is Education for our up and coming leaders(our children)and the other, health care. How we care for our sick and elderly as well as children is a measure of how we have grown or not!

  7. Lee Tetrault

    Ever figure out what teachers on average earn per hour, including prep time, coaching time, mentoring time, traveling to and from events time, teacher/parent interview time, and….?

    1. Post

      There has been calculations like that running around for years. It varies immensely from place to place and person to person but lets use me as an example. My T4 said I made $77,000 this year, so lets go with that.

      Like the calculation in the blog post, this is going to be crude. I am not going to count, after hours time, coaching time or other required non instructional days, just the 186 instructional days.

      $77,000 / 186days = $413 a day

      $413 / 8hours = $51 an hour

      That is pretty damn good money if all you put in was 186 days at 8 hours a day but alas for most teachers, as you have pointed out, that doesn’t even come close to the reality. I would imagine if you calculated all that teachers do in their job, depending on the person, the hourly wage would range between high twenties and low forties her hour.

      As a comparison, here is what other public service employees make in BC
      BC Nurses make
      Vancouver Police make

    1. Post

      I originally got the “teachers are greedy” quote from listening to CBC on the way in to work. The pundits were making reference to Christy Clark having said this but I like you cannot find any direct quote as such.

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