Wage Comparison: how B.C. teachers compare to others in Canada

The provincial government and the B.C. Teachers Federation return to the bargaining table tomorrow to hammer out contract demands. Outstanding issues include wages, class sizes and class composition.

Teachers are asking for a three percent wage increase and cost-of-living increase  that adds up to 13.7 per cent over four years, plus a cost of living increase.

Global B.C. is cracking the numbers to investigate how B.C. teachers compare to the rest of the country. The results are based on the average teachers’ salary at the beginning of their career and 10 years into their career.

On average, our province is in the middle compared to the rest of Canada, sitting at $49,410, but new teachers in Alberta make the most at $58,500.

Once a teacher gets 10 years of experience, the differences in salaries appear more drastic between provinces.

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In Alberta, teachers make $99,300 on average and B.C. teachers make about $81,500 after a decade of experience, which translates to a 60 per cent increase in salary in 10 years.

Many teachers say their salary ranks 8th in salaries across Canada despite the high cost of living in B.C.

Trish Mugford has been teaching English at Magee Secondary School for the past 24 years, teaching at the same school that her parents graduated from, but she says it’s not the paycheque that’s keeping her in Vancouver.  Mugford says she would make more money if she moved to Alberta.

“My husband and I are both teachers. We could move – between the two of us could make $40,000 a year more if we went to Alberta.”

Mugford says she’s chosen “not to choose a higher paycheque over where I was born and raised and want to stay.”

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According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canadian teachers are some of the highest paid in the world, and students rank among some of the brightest in the world.


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