EDITORIAL: It could be a long summer

The BC teachers strike, which began in full yesterday, is an example of questionable timing.

They say the key to good comedy is timing. The same could be said of labour action.

The BC teachers strike, which began in full yesterday, is an example of questionable timing.

It appears to be a gamble, that may not pay off.

The strike is taking place at a time when students are normally preparing for final exams. This is a time when some children have the most need of a teacher’s help.

Classes designed around reviewing the year’s curriculum will be lost and while the government has assured that exams will go on, you have to wonder if the students are properly prepared to take those tests.

If the teachers were hoping that a mid-June strike would provide the needed pressure to bring a quick end to the dispute, they appear to be  mistaken.

On Monday talks collapsed between the two parties and the strike is on.

Now comes the waiting game.

With negotiations stalled and the school year winding down, the pressure to sign a new deal will soon evaporate.

If the strike continues into July, why would either side feel the need to make concessions?

What will result is two long months of speeches, saber-rattling and rhetoric as both sides claim to be fighting for a just cause.

Worse is the fact that parents, and the general public, will begin to lose interest as normal summer vacation activities begin.

With no pressure to make a deal, the strike could linger. Then comes September. There is no justifiable reason to let this strike continue into another school year.

The time to make the deal is now, otherwise both sides can expect a long summer and possibly, a volatile autumn.

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