EDITORIAL: Will we never learn?

Everyone involved might feel cautiously optimistic about a new framework to negotiate a contract for teachers.

After the tumult of the past school year, everyone involved might feel cautiously optimistic about a new framework to negotiate a contract for teachers.

Calling it “a significant step in the right direction” and “a productive move,” BC Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert sounded uncharacteristically buoyant.

The deal is designed to help the BCTF and BC Public School Employers’ Association bargain a deal. It sounds promising, but this is a toxic relationship and B.C. is only several months from a provincial election.

Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Don McRae nipped in just before the framework was approved with a mammoth set of proposals.

Using telltale phrases such as “legacy of failed bargaining” and referring to mistrust on both sides, the document indicates the government would like to erase a system that Clark ushered in when she was education minister.

She and McRae would remove a stipulation that teaching is an essential service, a huge concession. They would reintroduce a measure of local bargaining, although that showed up in the new framework deal.

Clark and McRae would also index public school teacher salaries to increases in the B.C. public sector, likely a non-starter for the BCTF. And it would be a 10-year agreement.

The Liberals might not be the governing party after May’s election, so you can’t blame the BCTF for not rushing into a 10-year deal.

Is the government playing politics with its timing? Absolutely.

So is Lambert when she rejects out of hand some intriguing proposals that might lead to lasting labour peace. The ultra-political BCTF wouldn’t want to give the Liberals any credit.

The sweeping and thought-provoking proposals from Clark and McRae might be utterly forgotten by the start of the school year.

The best framework in the world won’t provide labour peace, though, if mistrust continues and either side insists on we-win-you-lose bargaining.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Stolen Victoria vehicle crashes in Black Creek

On Sept. 15, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP… Continue reading

Valley Father-daughter duo share a special bond over a kidney

Annual kidney walk is set for Sept. 23 at Simms Park

Courtenay getting a tool library

New facility allows do-it-yourselfers to borrow tools

Pacific white-sided dolphins spotted near Little River Ferry Terminal

A pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins spent the evening of Sept. 13… Continue reading

Comox Valley Men’s Group meets Mondays

Where can men go when they are seeking a non-judgmental forum to… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Seminal British band performs in Courtenay

Wishbone Ash is approaching its 50th year of existence

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read