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

Crews begin cutting down 100-year-old Comox willow tree

The tree was determined to be unhealthy and is being cut down due to safety concerns

Best of World Community Film Fest screens Tuesday

The votes are in from the recent World Community Film Festival and… Continue reading

Merville resident looking for help to name original settler families

Janice Isenor is hoping to figure out which families settled where in Merville 100 years ago

Cultural sharing for Comox Valley School District song unveiling

After nearly a year in the making, a special gift was presented… Continue reading

Union Bay Improvement District board apologizes to trustee; deadline remains for other demands

UBID board complies with one of the demands of a letter threatening legal action

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read