The Shotgun Blog
Monday, October 24, 2005
B.C. teachers are back at work now, their tails firmly between their legs. While it is true the B.C. Liberals did end up negotiating with the teachers (and thus deserve some criticism for bargaining with blackmailers), they didn't give the illegal strikers anything firm in the way of expensive class-size reductions or wage increases. And so the teachers were the bigger losers.
Perhaps the most lasting impact of the strike will be the lessons the union taught their students by its disrespecting both the law in general, and the specific facts surrounding their walkout. Right until the bitter end, Jinny Sims was saying her members were not on strike, but were staging a political protest. This lesson in self-serving deconstruction of fact is bound to be much appreciated by the next student caught cheating on an exam: "Hey, I wasn't cheating, I was merely obtaining answers from an alternate information source..."
Sims also consistently shrugged off her union's contempt of court, suggesting that any penalties the BCTF might have to pay were merely the price of doing business -- just like a drug kingpin might calculate when weighing the potential profit he might make from a deal against the potential fine he might pay.
I'll give the final word to Madam Justice Brown, who slapped the union with a $500,000 fine last Friday. "It is not enough to pay lip service to the courts; it is the duty of all citizens to put the statement into action, to obey court orders. Equally, it is the duty of the court to protect the rights of all citizens by appropriately sanctioning contempt of court." Complete text of her ruling is here.
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BC Teachers are back at work, but what are they teaching? Undoubtedly Junior and Senior high school students will have many questions about why they went on strike. What response will most teachers give? Jinny Sims' version of events, Gordon Campbell's version or an objective version?
Posted by: Charlotte | 2005-10-24 1:27:16 PM
Unions at “Work”
By Stephen Gray
The union “educators” of our young were on an illegal strike claiming they were doing it, among other things, for the children! Other unions came out in sympathy and they all had a good cry together on the picket line. Law abiding people could not get to work or do other business; they were held hostage by illegal proletariat pickets. Meanwhile the union boss of the “educators” was addressing the media and saying the “educators” were not going to go to the back of the bus, and that this illegal strike was the same as the “civil rights” movement many years ago. Rosa Parks and Gandhi, if they were alive today, would surely question the comparison. Then the big labor boss of the Labor Politburo came down from the lofty heights of the union HQ and informed everyone that this was about “democracy” and “rights.” Thinking people wondered about this when they heard his remarks. The union politburo is funded by compulsion and has compulsory members so compulsion can never be democratic, and an illegal action can never be a “right”
Anyway, the union workers led by its union politburo bosses had a big rally in an arena. All the politburo leaders spoke from the platform. The assembled proletariat all cheered, blew on whistles, waved flags with the various union insignia and sang; “Solidarity Forever.” Watching them, one was reminded of the old movies of comrade Stalin speaking to the assembled prisoners of his system, who clapped and cheered their own captivity. Still, one should not be cynical, this is how compulsory “democracy” works. Union membership and union dues are compulsory and in the words of comrade Lenin the “useful idiots” participate in the farce. They pay to be abused and used. And used they are.
One wonders if the timid and sheeplike rank and file members of the various unions, who engaged in the illegal protests on orders of their politburo masters, know that a company owned by union pension funds, donated “$16,665” and “$2,990” to the “hated” Liberal provincial government in B.C. and that some union bosses sit on the board of this company. Or that the Big Boss of the Labor Politburo in BC attended a Federal Liberal fundraiser with others of the union elite. Or do they know their compulsory union dues are funding all kinds of special interest groups? Perhaps they could get an “educator” to do some research on this for them. Still I digress, back to the union “business” at hand.
Anyway, the government appointed a Facilitator, he was a former union member who had once contributed money to the Socialist Party oops, I mean the NDP. He was acclaimed by the union politburo, the unionized media and all the “experts” as a “miracle worker.” There was supposed to be a media blackout while the Facilitator did his work, but Rosa Parks, oops I mean the union Boss of the “educators,” held a news conference and aired the union “educators” demands. This threw the proverbial blackboard into the blackout work of the Facilitator, who had to phone the unionized media saying the sides were too far apart. Thus the blackout became a book out. Though he did make some recommendations later.
Meanwhile the unionized media were all going into gibbering adulation over the appointment of the Facilitator. He was heaven sent, the only hope, a miracle performer, blah, blah, blah. Two unionized media performers, oops I mean unionized reporters on a TV news channel, went into ecstasy mode interviewing each other over the Facilitator. Watching their performance of adoration, in the ecstasy of their moment, almost had one applauding. Such is the power of the propaganda merchants. Listening to them was like hearing of the second coming. But there was more to come from the peddlers of propaganda. Next the unionized media waxed hysterically about the Big Boss of the Labour Politburo. He had done sterling work in getting the “educators” and everyone to come together it was an “extraordinary effort.” Yet the guy who they were hailing as the great labour statesman was the same guy who had helped organize the illegal strikes and demonstrations, now they were thanking him for being a “leader” and getting everything under control. Everyone was bowing, scraping, grovelling and thanking him for WHAT? This guy promoted and supported an “illegal strike.” Yet the media never asked him the question, “ Why is the government not laying charges against your Labour Politburo?” So much for so called “rule of law.”
Then on Friday the Collective Union of Public Enemies oops, sorry, I mean Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) shut down most of the Libraries which many of the school kids had been using to study in while their “educators” were on strike. I guess this is called caring about the kids. This was an illegal move by CUPE but so far there has been no word whether this union will be made to pay for its inconveniencing of the kids, the public and others who use these places and pay for them with their taxes. The public also pay CUPE members wages. Talk about being punished with your own money!!! Where is the justice system on this one?
Then a Supreme Court judge finally got into the act and fined the “educators” union $500,000. A mere pittance since it had a $14 million dollar tax free strike fund. Trade unions pay no taxes so $500,000 is a drop in the bucket. Anyway they can always raise their members compulsory union dues to get more money. Meanwhile parents and their children and the taxpayers who will have to pay for being educated by the “educators” the proletariat and the union politburo should remember the moral of this story. The public service unions run this province, so why bother to elect a government?
[email protected] Website: http://www.geocities.com/graysinfo
Stephen Gray is a writer and researcher on various topics. He published a newsletter for 11 years exposing the misuse of trade union time and money.
Posted by: Stephen Gray | 2005-10-24 2:09:34 PM
Public sector unions in BC and TROC are mere appendages of the NDP. Their antics more resemble organized crime than responsible employee representation.
Membership means NDP / anti(non NDP) funding and support without any individual consent.
California is in the throws of a nasty campaign to potentially remedy that situation. Proposition 75, if passed, would hold political financial support from public sector unions to the test of membership vote.
Check out this defence of the proposition from a (likely Democrat) public sector union officer: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=3106
Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-10-24 5:39:37 PM
Bottom line, the union executives should have spent some time in jail. Bottom line to other unions, just make sure you have a big strike fund and you can do as you please. Bottom line to students, it's ok to break the law if you feel a law is not right or you don't like it.
Regardless of who won or lost, teachers or Government, the people of BC lost. Now we can and will be subjected to further harassment by the unions in the coming years. This weak judicial clan of appeasement decisions has shown their contempt for the law and the people of BC.
Posted by: AsISeeIt | 2005-10-24 6:07:14 PM
I'm disappointed that Gordo blinked. With more parents actually supporting the teachers than the government, I suppose he could see the writing on the wall. Still, I think he could have won plaudits for standing firm and letting the teachers rot on the picket line. He could have passed new legislation allowing schools to hire replacement workers, and if the teachers persisted, he could have fired their asses just like Reagan fired the air traffic control dudes in 1981.
Posted by: Raging Ranter | 2005-10-24 8:26:04 PM
The whole "political protest" line was fed to us in Ontario during the 1997 strike that lasted 2 weeks. I wonder how many actually fell for that crap both times.
Posted by: Shameer Ravji | 2005-10-24 11:36:59 PM
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