If Negotiation, Mediation Won’t Work, then Binding Arbitration is the Answer!





By Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping It Real…
August 30th, 2014

The kids deserve better. It is a form of child abuse when ANY kid is denied going to school because his parents or guardians are fighting over custody.

Well, what is it when half a million kids are held hostage? Bargaining chips in a high-stakes poker game where the players can’t even sit at the same table and agree on the governing rules.

It’s a travesty; a disgrace; and, a true example of how the real victims in a dispute are often lost in the clash of ideologies, egos and a belief that it is THE OTHER SIDE who must give in.

This has to stop …NOW!

If the two sides in the teachers dispute cannot …or will not … negotiate a fair agreement that takes into consideration both sides’ needs; if mediation doesn’t work; and if legislation imposing a contract is FAR TOO HEAVY an alternative …then the only remaining solution is BINDING ARBITRATION on the most divisive remaining issues.

As I said in my previous blog, I do not think it should be difficult for the two sides to come to an agreement over wages ….if the BCTF drops some of its excessive, almo0st silly, benefit demands.

The matter of class sizes SHOULD be left until the outcome of the current Appeal is known …and both sides should AGREE NOW to accept and adopt the ruling of the court in the matter.

And they SHOULD agree to binding arbitration on all remaining issues … to be decided by a three member panel, whose membership is agreed upon beforehand.

And get the kids back in school …. NOW.

While the adults can continue to fight … well away from school property.

Harv Oberfeld


  1. The class size issue is a non-starter. Students dont recognize benefits of small class sizes until there are fewer than a dozen in a class. Only then do students get better attention vis a vis classes with 15-30 kids. The class size argument is about workload for the teachers, that’s it. This is not about the kids, it’s about the teachers not wanting to work harder. They already work fewer than 200 days a year, and they want an even lighter load. Bullshit.

  2. And one other comment: in the Bennett years, these twits would have been on the job NOW, and neither Bennett the Senior OR Junior would have hesitated to use binding arbitration. I think perhaps there might be a leadership problem in Victown, and I voted for the woman…shame on ME.

  3. Interesting metaphor, Harv; however, child custody is an abusive, gender-biased, fixed game in favour of mothers, against the best interests of children (and Dads), and most worthy of a well-researched follow-up-!

    Family Courts are kangaroo courts, and this teacher/ provincial government thing pales in comparison to the horrors that children go through when parents separate/ divorce in the hands of the Canadian Bar Association.

    Anybody listening; anybody really care …?

  4. I think perhaps there might be a leadership problem in Victown, and I voted for the woman…shame on ME.


    Yeah, you got screwed. bud, (or deceived).

    Re: Clark and the BC Liberal government, they have completely f*cked up the whole labor dispute, and all Clark can do is take her beefs to twitter !

    Twitter, like text messaging, is for twits ! Clark doesn’t have the guts to legislate the teachers back to work until it is far too late.

    As a parent who has a kid in high school, let me tell you that current high school life about as worse as when I was in high school.

    The teachers were selfish bastards, 30 years ago, when I went to high school and they are still bastards today, with few exceptions.

    The principals are assholes, too, who basically cover their ass like politicians.

    But, since they will leave for another school, from year to year, fortunately, you don’t need to get to know them that well.

    Meanwhile, try to get the principal or teacher of your kid to return your phone call ?

    Instead, there is this tendency to use emails to bullshit the parent, instead of a face to face meeting.

    if your kid is failing school (not in our case, fortunately) how can things be fixed in one email.

    But, guess who are worse than teachers and principals ?

    Guidance counsellors. LOL

    The guidance counsellors at my daughter’s school have no empathy and don’t care, either !

    If you wanted to hire someone to bully your worst enemy, the high school guidance counsellor is ideal.

  5. Lock both the BCTF and the government in a room and don’t let them out until they fix it. Something has to give… it’s not fair for the students or their parents, let alone the other staff who work in the schools who are NOT getting paid because their teacher colleagues are being selfish.
    Last night I saw on one of the late night news casts a teacher, who also is a single parent of two, who was saying she was going broke because of the strike — well guess what honey, you’re not the only one!! Parents don’t have the extra income to put their kids in care while you strike on, and the support workers are also broke – -cause they can’t go in to work and do their jobs!!
    Shame on the government and the teachers!!

  6. @Anonymous 1:34 pm

    Surprisingly, you don’t even have to have kids to get screwed over by the government, these days. LOL

    HOWEVER, It’s quite clear to me that this Shifty Clark government wants to bust ALL unions, including the teacher union. I mean, that is pretty evident to many of us !

    Therefore, to lecture our teachers, through twitter, at a time when public anger is at its highest, shows a marked lack of leadership on the part of the Premier AND is also designed to humiliate teachers through an arrogant disrespectfulness that is inherent in much of our government culture today,

    Having said that, the real reason for that is, Shift Clark herself is a “dumbass” politician who doesn’t have a lot of brain power, upstairs ? LOL

    And while we appreciate your suggestion to lock the BCTF and government in a room and negotiate, I don’t really think that that will accomplish much?

    Better recall the legislature, forthwith, and get the damn thing (forced recall) over with, now !

    Even mediator Vince Ready (perhaps the best mediator, ever, in this province?) has had enough and walked out the door.

    I think that the bitter reality is that it’s just a matter of time before a more cost effective “smart technology” learning replaces human instruction, as we know it.

    This is the technology that was developed by the US Army with respect to holographic imagery.

    Essentially, a teacher will appear to a group of students through a holographic computer.

    If you’re a teacher, that is obviously not very good news for you. You’ll all get fired, eventually, just like us broadcasters ! LOL

    But until that technology kicks in, Shify Clark is caught between a rock and a hard place
    isn’t it true ?

    I mean, these right winged so called Liberal governments are modelled mostly around Hitler’s Nazi Germany, are they not ? LOL

    They want US, the population, to be self-sufficient, to be all entrepreneurs and set up businesses, etc.

    But that obviously requires TRAINING and a solid, basic education?

    Here is the real problem ? When you essentially “McDonald-dize” the whole public education system, ie. offer the cheapest training opportunities at lowest cost and the “cheapest” classrooms, and. no doubt, the dumbest of teachers, what will eventually happen here in Canada is an American style education system where all teachers will be making about $ 30,000 a year and will have to moonlight as cleaners and security guards, just to make ends meet !

    Just like many professional broadcasters must moonlight at a second job, isn’t it true, as the slave wages are simply inhumane !

    On the other hand, let’s keep the status quo and do nothing and give the unions what they want and then in five years, the whole B.C. government will go t*ts up bankrupt !

    Unfortunately, there are no easy answers and I do not profess to be all knowing, either !


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