We need everyone who cares about the future of education and our province to put a full court press on the government right now to get Premier Clark to agree to binding arbitration to resolve the current dispute, end the strike and let us back into our classrooms to teach our students!
This dispute is about standing up to a government that is squeezing the last ounce of energy from every one of us and making us do more with less until we break!
This dispute is a about standing up to a bully who is trying to push us around the school-yard and “steal our lunch-money” and then trying to make us feel guilty and making us look like we are somehow hurting our students by standing up for our rights and a fair deal and better working conditions for teachers and better support and learning conditions for our students!
This is about a government whose actions have been described as “draconian” by the highest court in our country and whose machinations and actual bargaining agenda have been unmasked by the BC Supreme Court.
This is about standing up to a government, “To safeguard against tyranny” as was so aptly summarized by Rob Wipond in March, 2014 (http://www.focusonline.ca/?q=node/690) after the latest court ruling exposed this government’s hidden agenda:
“[BC Supreme Court Justice] Griffin determined that, particularly in the past few years, the government’s representatives delayed unnecessarily, “wasting time,” wouldn’t engage in meaningful dialogue, didn’t listen or make any reasonable efforts to reach agreements, and often simply “ignored” the BCTF.
The government even engaged in efforts to sabotage negotiations.
Indeed, with access to confidential cabinet documents and the capacity to compel testimony, Griffin heard enough evidence to state unequivocally that the government was in fact “preoccupied” with such sabotage.
Discussing the historical context for her decision, she wrote that political forces often desire “to consolidate and gather more power and to seek to diminish any restraint on that power.”
Conversely, she wrote “a democratic system has institutional checks to counter that tendency and to safeguard against tyranny.”
And one critical check on tyranny, Griffin wrote, is our Charter of Rights and Freedoms—which our provincial government has for ten years running deliberately spurned.
Yet no sooner was this B.C. Supreme Court judgment rendered, than Premier Christy Clark (who was a principal architect of the legislation) announced the government would appeal.
And where is it leading us all?”
Rob’s question now seems to be prophetic and rhetorical because it’s happening again!
When will they learn that we educate our students to stand up to bullies and to rail against tyranny and lead by example.