Cut the spin

The government seems more intent on manipulating the message than negotiating a solution to the teachers contract.

The B.C. government has launched a new website to prepare parents for a possible continuation of the teacher strike after Labour Day.

According to columnist Tom Fletcher, the website ( promises the latest bargaining updates on B.C.’s festering teacher dispute, and will act as a portal for parents registering to collect $40 a day for each child aged 12 and under if the strike drags on.

Talks have continued under a media blackout since mediator Vince Ready met the two sides last week.

Ready’s last involvement in the long-running series of disputes between the teachers and their employer was as an industrial inquiry commissioner in 2007. At that time he recommended that a senior provincial official be involved in talks along with an independent mediator.

Perhaps negotiations might be moving along a bit faster today if the government of the day had heeded his advice back then.

Instead of being at the negotiating table where they belong (they are the employers after all) they are spending valuable tax dollars on a slick web presence that shows signs of serious bias.

Here’s a quote from “The British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) has tabled a package that is fair and reasonable— both in terms of teacher pay and classroom needs.”

The problem with this statement is that it clearly doesn’t provide any consideration of the position of the teachers.

There is supposed to be a dialogue going on here between labour and employer; and taxpayers, parents and school children of B.C. has a right to expect both sides to participate in that dialogue in good faith.

Cut the rhetoric and spin and solve this problem, please.


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