WE ALL know where the labour dispute between the province and school teachers is headed.
Even if the two parties can agree on how many students should be in each classroom and how many special needs students should be in those classrooms, the chances of individual teachers receiving a raise is remote. Teachers will strike and they’ll be legislated back to work.
Now consider the words of the mediator hired to bring the provincial government and teachers together.
“Given that the current dispute is at the beginning of the school year, and given that the parties experienced a two-week withdrawal of services in October 2005 without any evidence of ‘serious and immediate disruption to the provision of education programs,’ I conclude that teachers can withdraw from the classroom for at least two weeks without any services designated as essential,” wrote Mark Brown in a series of recommendations about what could happen should the teachers strike to back wage and benefits demands.
For parents, it means don’t expect much of anything from the province for at least two weeks while childcare challenges and the like add up.
For taxpayers, Mr. Brown’s comments read almost as a startling admission that for at least two weeks of every school year, nothing much of consequence happens.
Labour troubles seem to be just the tip of the iceberg of an entire system in need of change.