There is nothing particularly brave, selfless or astute in going back to the taxpayer well for another bucket of cash. That’s easy. Reckless, but, easy.
What takes courage, skill and planning is to ration what you’ve been given and allow the economy to provide an increase of cash to that taxpayer-funded well.
The provincial government has been increasing public school allocations responsibly every year.
What I think the provincial government, in consultation with the teachers union, should be doing however is offering incentives to older workers for early retirement.
This could be a one-time incentive offered over a three-year period.
The goal is to reduce the number of higher salaried workers and allow school boards to hire younger teachers with fewer year of experience and, hence, lower salaries. (In time, they, too, will earn the higher salaries and the union doesn’t lose any paying members, either.)
This would allow school districts like ours who have an older workforce to have more working capital to keep some of those resource teachers Aaron Cosbey wrote about (Trustees are brave for taking a stand, Trail Times Letters to the Editor May 30).
The incentive to retire early would have to apply to the rest of the public service as well. It will be a complex task to balance and requires skilful but not impossible manoeuvring.
The provincial government is working towards a budget surplus in 2013.
If it achieves this goal, it could then offer early retirement incentives thus replenishing and renewing the aging workforce with younger public service workers.