Re: “Government resolve solid: Fassbender” (Chilliwack Progress, Sept. 5).
There is an old saying in labour relations circles that “crow is best eaten when it is young and tender.” The government seems to want have their crow big, grizzly, and ugly.
It is time to acknowledge that the BCTF dispute is not about wages or massages despite the government’s attempts at deflection. The real issue is the one that Christy Clark created in 2002 when the class size provisions in the collective agreement with the BCTF were unilaterally stripped via legislation. The BC Supreme Court has determined that was illegal, and there is just no way around that fact for the government.
The government would like to “negotiate” class size and support so that the current Supreme Court decision is set aside, and would like a better deal for itself to boot. The BCTF has zero incentive to agree, and given the past bad blood between the sides (and lack of trust) why would it?
The only way that classes will get back on track soon is for the government to agree to binding arbitration on wages and “set aside” its demands to negotiate its way out of the class size issue.
Then the government will have to wait and see just how big and tough the crow will be once the government’s appeal of the B.C. Supreme Court decision fails, as it surely will.