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

Comox Valley Monarch Lions help ‘SPOT’ possible student vision problems

When Helen Keller challenged Lions Clubs International in 1925 to become “Knights… Continue reading

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

North Island College Foundation helps more students than ever in the Comox Valley

More than 170 North Island College students in the Comox Valley received… Continue reading

Courtenay mom warns of candy-luring incident near Willemar Road

A Courtenay mother is speaking out after a man was reported to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Most Read