If the people at the centre of the teacher/government duel have any real idea of the consternation stirred up over their confrontation, it hasn’t seemed to add any urgency to their efforts at gaining an agreement.
This summer which is just about to end may have seemed like a long one to those fighting wildfires, or those trying to cope with a lack of air-conditioning. But to parents of school age children the clock has likely been ticking at double time since the job action began in June.
For families, the school calendar must be adhered to. Every part of life needs to fall in place according to the school schedule for a minimum of 10 months a year.
Some families, thanks to stay-at-home parents or flexible working arrangements, can likely deal with the extended strike with a minimum of upheaval. Others, unfortunately, will have to scramble, trying to make arrangements with day care providers who will likely be swamped with enquiries. For some people there would even be the chance that a job could be lost or a child neglected.
This submission does not suggest for a moment that there is anything simple about achieving an agreement that satisfies two sides, each with widely differing agendas. But if two sides in a labour management dispute are far apart, they still need to to keep at it. Perhaps early mediation could become mandatory in this type of negotiation.
The whole unpleasant situation illustrates the scope of the issue, how deep an impact in makes in every single community in the province. It also makes an observer wonder why a lot more effort was not devoted to settling the dispute a lot earlier than the end of August.