So they have finally reached a tentative settlement!
Although my children are long past school age, I have two grandchildren in the B.C. educational system and, therefore, have been following this year’s labour dispute between the BCTF and the government with great interest.
Notwithstanding that the BCTF likes to coach its public relations musings in altruistic terms that everything they are demanding is only for the good of the children, that myth was severely tested when they destroyed the dreams of many of their students by withdrawing any extra-curricular activities this spring.
The BCTF is a labour union and as such its only mandate is to maximize salaries and benefits for its members — no more and no less — all the rest is political spin.
The collective bargaining process, particularly in B.C., is inherently conflict-oriented with labour pitting their power against the employer. The BCTF has been very successful in maximizing their power simply by holding the students and, therefore, their parents hostage during the school year.
It doesn’t help that they use every avenue to further their propaganda, including indoctrinating their students, our children, in the classroom.
The government, however, must reconcile increased costs in the education sector with other priorities whether they be health care, environment or welfare, to those less advantaged, while attempting to stay within the framework of a balance budget during trying economic conditions.
I find the timing of the settlement more than coincidental as it corresponds with the end of the school year. After all, there will be no children to hold hostage over the next two months, and heaven forbid, nothing can interfere with the teachers’ right to enjoy their two-month vacation.
Moreover, perhaps the BCTF is reading the polling figures that suggest an NDP government next year. At the end of the one-year tentative agreement it should be much easier to negotiate a better deal from their union-backed brothers and sisters who may be ruining (sorry running) the government.
No problem — it is after all only the taxpayers’ money.