I have to commend Mel Joy for her letter on how the teachers’ bargaining process seems to be drifting (March 5). I would have to say it has gone far beyond that point.
One has to ask at what point must a government, presumably elected to represent the entire population of this province, do so in a fair manner?
Given the evidence presented in the court case and the twice ruled decision that the government was wrong in the laws it created to stifle a union the public needs to demand that the focus has to be back on education. How much money have they spent on this case, and how much more will be squandered as they take it to the appeal court? Yet there is no money in the budget for education? This from a government that prides itself on “families first.”
Your assertions in that the government now owns it all is spot on. When BCTF and BCPSEA bargained, while they may not always have seen eye to eye, eventually there were agreements reached.
Unfortunately this time around when BCPSEA came to the table they were hobbled by a lack of resources to bargain with.
It is also interesting to note that at the outset of this bargaining round, well over a year ago, both parties came to agreements on how costing would be done, leaving the bargaining out of the press and having a mediator present.
Those agreements were one of the most positive starts to bargaining in recent memory, I suppose much to the chagrin of the government, as evidenced by the eventual removal of BCPSEA from the process.
Rather than the bargaining process seems to be drifting, it might be more accurate to say it was cut adrift when BCPSEA was summarily dumped from the bargaining process and replaced with an appointed government negotiator.
President, Nelson District Teachers’ Association