The Cooperative Gains Mandate is worthy of George Orwell himself.
It's a bad break for Langley School District.
It's a worse break for students in Langley schools.
And we suspect that, when all is said and done, the unions will end up paying dearly for their wage settlements.
But the province comes out of it all smelling of roses.
That must be where the "cooperative gains" are made.
The provincial government gets to be the good guy with the unions, settling contracts that it can't afford to meet - and then generously allowing individual school districts to pay for its largesse.
It will be the school districts - the administrators and the school trustees - that will have to be the bad guys who find millions of dollars worth of cuts.
And here's the kicker: the provincial authorities have magnanimously mandated that there will be no cuts in services.
Equal magnanimity is shown in the provincial decree that the deficit that the province has created - a whopping $7 million, in Langley's case alone - will not be downloaded onto the public through added fees or costs.
With legislated class-size limits, teachers might escape relatively unscathed, but watch for the maintenance crews to once again bear the brunt, one way or another.
Cooperation, indeed. More like divide and conquer.
Premier Christy Clark's government gets to swing into election mode in the spring with a few less pesky unions nipping at its heels.
Meanwhile, Langley schools, still reeling from the district's self-made deficit debacle of a few years ago, get to tighten their belts to the spine.
And ultimately, the saddest note is that the students are the ones who will pay.