I’m not unfamiliar to contract talks between unions and their bosses, and I’m old enough to remember that most of the noise is the rhetorical hot air that both sides breathe in order to rally public opinion to each respective side. So with that being said, I’m pretty much ignoring the noise being made publicly about what’s going on in the negotiating room between the BCTF and the employer, the BCPSEA.
It however wasn’t long ago that the BC Liberals, directly interfering with negotiations last time, trotted out heavy hitting cabinet ministers and Premier Clark with their “affordability zone” mantra.
Since then, the teachers union won their appeal at the Supreme Court that restored class size and composition language that was illegally stripped away by legislation introduced by none other than (then) Deputy Premier and Education Minister Christy Clark when Gordon Campbell was Premier.
I do have to inject a reality check here. Both sides are free to ask for whatever they think they’ll get in contract talks. Aim high and see where negotiations take you. The employer is free to ask all they want for movement on CSC language, but it doesn’t mean teachers have to agree to any changes there – that was a win in court. The union is also free to ask for whatever they feel they’ll get; see how this works?
What is harmful though, is that the rhetoric can get toxic outside the negotiating rooms. Teachers are a powerful ally to the NDP and some loud mouths online are using this delicate negotiating period as a means to drive a wedge here. As if by electing the BC Liberals back to power will mean any better gains for teachers (hint: it won’t).
Do yourselves a favour and let the negotiating teams do their work; ignore the rhetorical hot air like its a bad smell..because it will blow away.