The B.C. government is determined to come to a fair and equitable agreement to the teacher's job action as long as it's done on their terms.
The teachers have nowhere to turn as long as the government has the power to revoke their right to strike and or legislate them back to work. The government has even imposed limits on the terms of mediation, a "net-zero mandate" during a mediated cooling off period.
If you talk to parents of youngsters affected by this work action and strike, you will find lots of mixed feelings, as many of these same parents belong to unions that work under collective agreements and bargain freely and in good faith. They also know a bully when they see one.
This liberal government is proving to be just an extension of the Campbell government that five years ago ripped up the health workers contract and brought substandard contractors into our hospitals.
In what seems to be just a footnote in B.C. labour history, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Bill-37 was illegal. Revoking the right to strike with the back-to-work legislation is a devious strong arm alternative to ripping up a contract.
Working under a collective agreement is just another way of doing business and, whether the government likes it or not, they have to do business with all the public unions in this province.
The Clark government of British Columbia has held teachers, parents and most importantly students, hostage to a process of dysfunctional negotiations doomed from the beginning.
By declaring teaching an essential service, the government has tried to create a public perception that the welfare of the community is at risks when, in fact, such a declaration is just another political ploy to deny teachers any power in the negotiation process. A bargaining unit's ability to withdraw services, without a gun to the head, is still a legitimate way to get both sides seriously moving towards a resolution.
This government's reference for resolution is its determination and ability to pull that trigger.
Stephen E. Murphy Richmond News