General Strike Ill-Advised
A general strike? Does the union leadership in this province actually think that shutting down British Columbia for a day or two or more will help build public support for the illegal job action of the BCTF?
But, indeed, Jim Sinclair speaking to a couple thousand of the faithful on Tuesday night at the Trade and Convention Centre, promised to consider just that if the “dispute” drags on.
Word of suggestion to Mr. Sinclair – I’d start preparing the placards, because it doesn’t look to me like the grand-standing Jinny Sims is going to step off of her soapbox anytime soon.
Why would she back down now – she’s in trade union heaven. And, if all goes well, she might even get to go to jail and be martyred for her “political protest against an evil government” shtick. That, and $4 million dollars of your member’s money blown during the election campaign, will buy you a pretty strong cup of anti-government rhetoric.
I have to wonder how the 130 other public sector unions feel about the BCTF getting all the special attention, when they managed to settle quite sensibly with the government and continue on providing their services to the taxpayers and residents of this province.
Although there are some cries of “fire them all”, a la Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controllers in the early 90s, most people seem pretty supportive of their child’s teacher but very confused by actions of the teacher’s union.
They don’t understand why the BCTF is so bent on blindly sticking to the province wide collective bargaining process that has yet to actually yield them a negotiated settlement. As I wrote last week, since this form of bargaining was introduced in 1993 (incidentally by the NDP), every single teacher’s contract has had to be settled by the government stepping in because the employers and the BCTF could not come to terms.
Every single one.
But still the BCTF refuses to accept this government’s offer to sit down with Vince Ready and figure out a new and better way of conducting their negotiations. They seem to feel incredibly wronged by the suggestion that these negotiations have failed.
Guess what? These negotiations have failed. Now what are we going to do about it?
Hopefully once the teachers have blown off the steam due to their intense and completely understandable frustration, they can get back to work teaching our kids and their leadership can get back to their work of finding solutions with the employers.
That’s why the teachers have a union: to negotiate a contract – something that this overly politicized union leadership has failed to accomplish, despite 15 years of effort.
The BC Federation of Labour is going to want to consider carefully the pitfalls of calling a general strike to prop up a broken collective bargaining process. They would serve unionists in this province far better by insisting that the BCTF, the employers and the government work together to figure out a new and better way to reach an agreement.
Because, frankly, that’s what grown-ups do. We might have a little hissy fit when we don’t get our way, but once that’s over, we come back to the table and to work out a solution.
(As seen today in 24 Hours Daily)