Tuesday, June 24, 2014

With Solstice Gone, What's Next For Public Schools In British Columbia?


While a lot of folks are pinning their hopes on mediation, Paul Willcocks isn't so sure that will work at the moment. 

And what he has to say on the matter makes some sense:

...In a past life I was involved in labour negotiations. In one difficult set of talks, a mediator was appointed to help us reach a deal. He arrived, met with management and union, and booked out less than an hour later. The parties were too far apart, he said, and mediation would be a waste of time. Good luck.

That’s true in this dispute. There are too many issues on the table, the parties are too far apart and there’s no sign that either side really wants a deal. The BCTF’s goofy strike tactic, at a time when the government feels under no pressure from parents or public, served only to cost teachers an average $3,500 in lost pay and, by increasing their expectations, make a deal less likely...

So, what's coming?

Mr. Willcocks wonders if it will be legislation:

...I’d expect the dispute to continue into September. Barring creative solutions - which are possible but unlikely - a legislated settlement would be imposed just before school resumes, or after a couple of weeks of strike...

If that happens it seems to me that the teachers will need the public (even more) on their side. Paul thinks that they could help ensure that that happens by re-opening schools for summer programs. 

Me, I'm not so sure because, as myself and others have opined before, it could be argued that one of the problems here is that the teachers haven't been militant enough in the face of this extremist government's 12 year long war against them.

The thing is...There are kids to consider here. 

And a lot of kids who go to school in the summer really do need some help.



Anonymous said...


Low-info British Columbians have swallowed Christy's talking points without choking.

What emerged, and has been nourished by the pro-media, is the meme of the "irrational" demands of out of touch, entitled teachers within the context of a province with thousands of non-union, under-compensated plebes. As "stenographer" Bill Good, likes to point out, there are lots of graduate teachers to fill their jobs, market forces and all...

Yet again, Christy appealed to the lowest common denominator and won.

Iker is too laid back, he should have gone hard and raised questions about Christy's history of profligate spending on wrong priorities.

The time has come for Iker to bow out gracefully, as Vince Ready effectively has. A new leader can re-message from the "moral" high-ground.

The teachers can regain "credibility" with the low-foes, by tactically withdrawing from this battle in the "interest" of the children, all the while keeping their focus on the long game.

Teachers do us all a favour, and resurrect the "Apple Campaign" if it results in anything close to the Golden Age of Davey you will forever be the champions of British Columbia.

RossK said...


Most interesting analysis.

And 'Low-Foe' will show up soon in a post near you I reckon.

Did you hear Ira Basin's bit on the birth of modern PR on Ideas this evening?

If not, you might want to look it up and have a listen...I think the ghost of Walter Lippmann just might be agreeing with you.


Anonymous said...


Early this morning, I made a start on the Ideas piece: birth of modern PR. An intense pre-coffee listen. Interesting.

Read a little about Lippmann on Wikipedia, yup, he was a great proponent of managing the low-foes.

The CCR (Christy Christian Right) have got the game down to a science (having their own in-house and outhouse "Committee on Public Information").

Sang-Froid Fassbender presents as a steely-eyed defender of the taxpayers interests. Iker, as a weak, reactionary neophyte, who neglects to put the crisis in BC public education into context.

Progressives and especially,their representatives, must get up to warp-Lippmann-speed, using every media platform to shape the issues in our favour and expose the mercenary CCR's soulless husk.

RossK said...



And, ya, just about everything Mr. Basin does is interesting (including his Dylan analysis stuff).