Unfair negotiations

Government's one-sided negotiation unappreciated, especially during anti-bullying week

Two groups of students face off in the middle of the playground. My friends and I want to play football.  The other group wants to play baseball.  The playground isn’t big enough for both games to be played at the same time.  We must come to an agreement.

My group shouts, “Football!” The other group shouts, “Baseball!” Back and forth, “Football,” “Baseball.” No agreement seems possible.

My groups learns that the other group wants to play baseball because they don’t like tackle football, so we offer to play touch football instead. The other group responds with, “Baseball or nothing!”  We offer to let a third party decide which game should be played today. They refuse and again shout, “Baseball or nothing!” No agreement seems possible.

We knew that the principal’s son was in the other group, but it didn’t seem important until now. The son has called his father over. My group hopes that the principal will help us come to an agreement that is fair to both groups. Our hopes are dashed when the principal says, “I want you to agree to play baseball.  If you can’t agree by yourselves to play baseball, I will make a new rule for the playground that everyone must play baseball.”

Especially during anti-bullying week, this kind of unfair, one-sided ‘negotiation’ would never be tolerated in a school playground.

The premier has ordered the government bargaining committee, BCPSEA, to not allow any improvements to the teachers’ contract.  Since BCPSEA is not permitted to allow any improvements to the teachers’ contract, no meaningful negotiations are possible. The BCTF has offered to send the issue to mediation or even binding arbitration, but the government refuses either option.

The minister of education appointed an assistant deputy minister to determine if a negotiated settlement can be reached.

Since the government will not allow any negotiation to take place, and will not allow mediation or arbitration to occur, the assistant deputy minister was forced to report that no negotiated settlement can be reached.

The minister of education then reported to the premier that since no negotiated settlement can be reached, the government should enact legislation ordering the teachers to accept a contract written entirely by the government. Now, since the government will not allow fair bargaining, the government will pass a law imposing a contract on the teachers.

Especially during anti-bullying week, this kind of unfair, one-sided ‘negotiation’ should not be tolerated in B.C.

 

Darin Johaneson, Vernon