Editorial: Picket season passing?

Commentary focuses on what could be an ending labour dispute

As the truck drops off the supply of this print edition early Thursday morning, members of the BC Teachers Federation will be getting ready to vote on whether to accept a hard-negotiated contract offer from the provincial government – hard negotiated by both parties, by the way.

Printed on Wednesday night, this week’s submission cannot be based on what actually happens Thursday. What can be accurately expressed, and asked, however, are opinions and questions.

As in comedy, they say timing is everything, and the timing of the labour showdown between teachers and government is food for thought, enough for a banquet, in fact.

Who came out ahead by the action commencing when it did? As it may have turned out, only a handful of weeks of school may have been lost.

What, if anything was gained, and by whom, during the bargaining vacuum of summer? Should we be grateful the challenge was not held over for a September release?

It seems a lot more would have been at stake with such a move. More time could have been shaved off the scholastic calendar, but then again, more pressure would likely build sooner, leading to more committed negotiation by both sides.

What is clear is that the serial known as government/teacher confrontation has had far more episodes than the average citizen would want, or care to remember.

All we can do today is hope the optimism generated by recent positive developments is a legitimate sign of an equitable and long-term settlement.

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