OUR VIEW: The fight for quality in our schools

We say: This year’s grads have never known anything but strife

The kids have finished their first week back in back in school.

Getting them there, along with their teachers, wasn’t easy.

But the BC Teachers’ Federation and the government deserve some credit for finally getting down to brass tacks after too many false starts in the past several months.

The agreement will not resolve the court cases over the 2002 contract stripping by the BC Liberal government, which was the underlying issue that kept the two sides far apart.

That matter will go to the B.C. Court of Appeal next month, after two B.C. Supreme Court judgments that went against the provincial government.

Hopefully, that matter will be settled sooner rather than later. But the glacial pace of court proceedings and the likelihood that the Court of Appeal decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, means a final resolution on class size and composition in B.C. schools is likely still years away.

From the beginning, this strike was all about the students, and the quality of their education in our public school system, according to both the teachers and government.

If that’s truly the case, robbing students of education through strikes and lockouts is something neither the province nor the BCTF should be proud of.

In the long term, we need a solution to terminate the seemingly endless labour disputes between the province and the BCTF. Students looking forward to graduating this year, after 12 years in the system, have never known an educational environment free from labour strife.

Given how this dispute unfolded, most parents will now look to teachers and the provincial government to live up to prove the integrity of their fight for the quality of their children’s education.

– Black Press