I’m so tired of hearing “I’m not taking sides. They are both equally to blame.” Try asking three questions.
1). Why are the schools still closed after four months of negotiations? Answer: While one side has given up much of their demands the other side as made no compromises.
2). Who is responsible for providing a free public education to all students in B.C.? Answer: The provincial government.
3). Why do teachers not just give up and return to work? Answer: They see this as a fight to maintain the quality of public education – not only for their own children but for all children.
The government holds all the cards and could end the impasse at any point. They could produce more money or they could legislate an end to the strike. Instead they have broken the law, provoked the union continually and given the false impression they were negotiating when they were not.
Whatever you might think of the BCTF, either the government wanted this lengthy confrontation or they have been grossly incompetent over 13 years for not resolving it. Take your pick.