Will we never learn?

Contract negotiations between BCTF and the Province plagued as always by politics

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 (BCTF) 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.

— Comox Valley Record

Just Posted

Chemainus Thrift Shop undergoing renovations to improve efficiency

Customers won’t see more room for goods, but office space and storage an important focus

North Cowichan looks to keep tax increase below 3%

Finance team asked to find ways to drop increase to 2.95%

Ladysmith mayor considered running federally, decided against it

Aaron Stone filed papers with Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP to be vetted as a candidate

Roundabout plans at River Road in Chemainus moving forward

Land issues still being resolved before details revealed to the public

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should havea dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read