The public relations war playing out between B.C. teachers and the Province has spread to areas unseen in previous battles between the two groups.
The B.C. government took out a front page ad in Vancouver’s “24 Hours” free local newspaper on Friday, June 20.
The ad pointed out that teachers are asking for more than twice the wage increase than many other public service unions.
Teachers behind the picket lines in Vancouver held the extra page in today’s edition of “24 Hours” with dismay. They felt that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer money.
“Really upsetting to see. Using our tax dollars- everyone’s tax dollars to put forth the government’s claims in advertising scheme” said one teacher protesting.
“From an ethical standpoint your crossing some dangerous territory here,” says Simon Fraser University Marketing professor, Lindsay Meredith, “you’re trying to pretend it’s a newspaper headline when in fact it’s a paid advertisement.”
Teachers have turned to social media to make their voices heard and show people what they’re fighting for. The hashtag #Thisismystrikepay has teachers tweeting photos and statements.
“The teachers have done a good job of trying to explain the students first argument” says Meredith, but he also believes there is a negative aspect to the public relations battle, no matter which side or what the tactic happens to be.
“Keep up this silliness,” he says “and you will alienate everybody out there in the public.”