|“I see a lot of sense in the BCTF’s insistence on eliminating E80 from the package for consideration in binding arbitration…
“As is true of any negotiation, the respective bargaining positions of each party is determined by the prevailing legal framework concerning their respective rights. One cannot, for example, effectively negotiate a sale of land if the crucial legal issues concerning that land – such as zoning and permitted uses – are uncertain, or pending a court decision. …The same is true of any and every negotiation, including those between BCTF and the government – extant legal rights determine respective bargaining positions.
“In my view, the BCTF is acting sensibly and reasonably in wanting to eliminate unresolved, yet crucial, legal issues from bargaining. It is not that the BCTF doesn’t want to bargain those issues – as the Minister seems to suggest; it is that they want to wait until the courts have finally determined the respective rights of the parties on those issues before commencing bargaining.
“That makes eminent sense, as does the proposal to go ahead with binding arbitration on those parts of the dispute that are not currently before the courts. The BCTF’s position would put teachers back in classrooms on terms decided by an arbitrator on matters not before the courts, while leaving negotiation concerning matters that are before the courts to a time when those courts have finally decided upon those matters.”
People who read the 2011 and 2014 reasons for judgments written by Justice Susan Griffin will be left wondering why the Liberal government continues the fight. Apparently, the politicians know they have a losing hand so are doing everything to force a settlement that eliminates effects of the legal action. Having had two efforts at legislation tossed out, the chance of success with a third set of laws affecting teachers’ rights is minuscule. The only alternative is to hope they can starve out teachers who’ve already had three years of 0% raises.
If the weight of expert opinion concludes that government is on the wrong course, what motivates them to continue? Government says it cannot afford to pay more for education. Yet, it already pays less per student than other provinces. As Sandy Garossino said, spending involves choices and priorities. Liberals prefer to pay subsidies to foreign owned resource companies and choose to pay billions on money losing arenas and convention centres. They believe that 7-figure salaries paid to executives have a higher priority than payments to serve special needs students. Their choices are not only mean spirited, they are mindless.
American philosopher John Dewey stated,
“Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.”
That may provide a clue to Liberal intentions. The Premier who disdains our parliamentary tradition has no real regard for democracy. She cheated as a youth when running for election to the SFU student council, she made promises when seeking appointment as Premier that were quickly tossed in the trash and she presides over a party charged with offending election laws.
By the way, read the court decisions linked above. They’re not difficult to comprehend and you’ll be way ahead of the many Liberals’ “digital influencers” recruited to distort social media conversations. You’ll also be ahead of the Press Gallery gang who largely ignore Justice Griffin’s words.