If someones actions are difficult to comprehend, it helps to look at their objectives. Understanding the objectives usually explains the behaviour. In this current dispute, the government says that their objective is a deal with teacher that represents a well-funded education system, labour peace and children and teachers in the classroom with sufficient support. However, their actions in no way align with their stated objectives. Stalling mediation and refusing to negotiate, bankrupting the union through a decade of court challenges, penalizing teachers financially and seeking to demonize the BCTF with media spin are actions more designed to destabilize the education system than to support it. Parents are so frustrated and fed up with the current situation that the move to private and charter schools seems like the only solution. The actions of the government have succeed in depleting the coffers of the BCTF and have left teachers questioning their union and its relevancy. The longer the government remains intransigent, the more they succeed in driving a wedge between teachers and their union. Decertification starts to seem like the only solution. Since the beginning of this current impasse, I have been continually baffled by the governments behaviours - from the 10% penalty and lock-out to the preconditions in mediation, from the cancellation clause to their re-engineering of the public education system with their Education Plan, from their spending on websites promoting choice and flexibility, to their proposed $40/day per child - all of which seem in direct contradiction to their stated objectives, namely a god deal with teachers. But if their objective were to destroy the BCTF and to pave the way for more private schools, well then, their behaviours make perfect sense. The biggest problem that teachers have is that we are not even in the same fight as our opponent. Teachers are standing up for a well funded public education system but the government, through their actions, has already abandoned public education and has moved over onto other pursuits (pipelines, LNG, privatization of public assets). While I am loathe to say it, I predict that we will be on the picket line until then end of September when the government will make a Special Order in Council ordering us back to work with an enforced 10% wage reduction for the length of the imposed contract. If the government really wanted to reach a deal with teachers, then this would seem to be a ludicrous move. If, however, the goal is to phase out Public Education in favour of private, then this move would be in perfect alignment with their objective. I pray I am wrong but if the last 12 years are any indication, I fear that I am not. All of that said, #iwillholdtheline because if I am going to lose, I am going to go down fighting all the way.
Posted on: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:20:22 +0000
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