The teachers' union has it right this time.
Legislation is being pushed through too quickly to get a contract for the teachers of British Columbia, who have been in "teachonly" mode since September.
The teachers' teach-only position is still their first phase of job action - a pretty modest form of "job action," actually - and whether or not you agree with their bargaining position, from their point of view, they are showing considerable restraint in not going further.
But if a contract is imposed on them without a legitimate attempt at mediation or arbitration, their "patience" will certainly break, and they'll surely move into "phase two."
One can only imagine what phase two will be like: a full-scale walkout by teachers, with serious implications for students' education.
Both sides in the dispute have been stubborn and uncompromising, but the Ministry of Education holds the trump card, because technically, if not morally, it can impose whatever salary levels and working conditions it wants on teachers.
And we wonder why the teachers' union is being so stubborn. Legislating a contract strips away the fundamental right of unions to negotiate a contract.
The BCTF has called for arbitration. Many leaders within the educators' union movement considered the teachers' contract mediated by Vince Ready in 2005/06 a success because both sides walked away unhappy.
Show respect for teachers. Let's give mediation another try. BCPSEA and the BCTF might be unhappy with the result, but maybe the people preparing our kids for their future, the teachers, will feel valued and respected for not having to give in to legislation.
@ Copyright 2013