Wipe That Smug Look Off Your Face

I've been watching the BCTF affair for the last few weeks. When Jinny Sims appeared before camera, she looked smug. When Shirley Bond was interviewed, she looked smug. Apish thug, Mike De Jong sort of looks smug (I think smug is something you can only pull off if you have an IQ of 100+).
How can the different sides look so smug? Simple: they're getting paid to hurt us. They have one concern about the people: the body count. If the BCTF can screw over more people, the better their job action. If the BC government can land its boot on the neck of more people, the better their government-- their control over the people.
Are Liberals (nee SoCreds) bastards? Well, yes. That's no surprise. What gets me is that unions are raining down fire from a pillar of moral superiority. They have the workers in mind. They're looking out the little guy. Oohh, think of the children. Bullshit. Unions didn't show up to make the business or the institution that employs the people to turn out a product or service. They aren't sweating and suffering to drive the machines that produce. They're there to supposedly ensure worker's rights. But they don't do that. The BC government has figured out that the tiger is toothless.
I suspect there will be a sympathy general strike-- a one day show of power that will do nothing more than pollute the province (because of lack of public transportation) and derail the lives of regular people. If the teachers can drum up the support, I ask if the teachers will be there to support 15% wage hike grabs of others. I think the wage increase is out of line. Wage increases have to stay in step with inflation, or they create inflation.
What the BCTF needed to do with the $6 million they've spent in strike pay is sock that into a Civil Rights lawsuit to challenge the BC Government's right to impose settlements. The teachers would have better spent their cash on reforming government through litigation (e.g. gay marriages, Roe v. Wade, big tobacco). Every law is in place because it hasn't been successfully challenged. Barring the teachers from striking (which the essential services legislation was supposed to have done) doesn't presuppose an imposed settlement. Because of that error in law, it may mean that the government has abused the situation so bad that the teachers had to strike.
The BCTF need to stay out of supreme court and let every union local sue the government from their local courthouses for $9999.00-- one dollar below the small claims ceiling-- so that they can't be slapped with court costs and punative damages from the government should they lose. The government will spend $100K per defense. No? Research the case of Ocean Technical Services v. The Province of BC. In that case, the plaintiff was screwed over by the government for whistleblowing. He found that the NDP had used Forest Renewal BC as a slush fund for cronies. For example: one employee was billing over $8000/mo. for services-- but submitting the bill to three people. In essense, the guy got $26,000 in a month for the same body of work. FRBC had a tech support contract that was figured per computer-- including computers in storage. How much tech support does a computer in a closet need? Anyways, he was blacklisted. His business and two subsequent businesses were blacklisted. He sued for a few thousand dollars of owed consulting money. The government landed on him with a $100K+ legal defense. When the Liberal took power, they didn't settle. They continued the assault. The Attorney General's office cannot figure out cost benefit analysis. Because of that, the BCTF can make Liberal stubborness very costly. Real bean counters would see that it's either cheaper to cave out of court; or pricey because they will have spent millions of dollars defending. Once one case wins in one small claims court room, all of the upcoming cases can refer to it as case law. But that's a low-profile high-IQ move and judging from the teachers I've met, it's beyond them.
Also, helping more than themselves is the opposite of what unions do. (e.g. they could push to raise the minimum wage in BC, but unions instead push for only their members thus contributing to inflation that erodes the spending power of non-union workers). That's my core beef with unions: they aren't an altruistic organization for the working people. They're a partisan organization whose focus is to take money from its membership to solidify their own foundations.
No? Here's some strike math: If people work 200 days/year, every day on strike is worth 0.5% of their annual wage. A three day strike is the equivalent to surrendering 1.5% of their wages. Any strike that goes on for more than three days is only in the interest of the unions. By Friday, the BCTF will have helped workers surrender 2.5% of their annual income. In the Telus case, the workers were out for +/- 50 days. That means that their union volunteered a 25% wage cut on behalf of their employees. They lost twenty-five percent of their annual wage. Remember that Seinfeld episode where George went in to negotiate the script sale and came out with less? That's what unions seem to do when they strike.
The BC Government can make hay with this and make the BCTF look lousy. How? The government should give them the 15% increase-- and give them that alone. The teachers will vote to accept more money. Don't budge on class size or conditions. Then, play with the budget numbers (the government always screws the budget numbers to do what they want them to do) and make it look like the teacher's settlement put the government in the red. The condition of students will continue to be lousy. Parents will be pissed that the teachers have more cash and their kids still watch videos day-in-day-out. The teachers will get more than any other union coming up for negotiations which will stir resentment. When other unions ask for more money, the Liberals can say, "sorry: the teachers took our lunch money." Solidarity? Sure, like a hobo invited to Lake Louise, this will create a divide of haves and have-nots between the teachers and the unions about to negotiate new contracts. The union movements are already fragmented and creaky, giving one union a clear benefit will not help all of the unions but will erode inter-union support. That 15% wage hike could be the biggest cost savings ever created.

So, I would like to say to the players in this current drama: wipe that smug look off your face and please get your heel off of my neck. You have work to do.


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