Monday, October 17, 2005

Teachers Stike vs Law of Courts

It is already more than a week since my kids were school-less. The teachers are still on strike. Last Thursday, the courts ordered the teachers to end their strike and to go back to work. Instead of a widely expected heavy financial penalty, the courts decided to freeze the Teachers' Union financial assets. Widely viewed as an innovative way to uphold the law, I sense that the BC Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown, has creatively carved a way out for both sides to negotiate. On the one hand, for the teachers to escape heavy fines and go back to work. On the other hand, for the government to make good its promise to negotiate, only when the teachers are not breaking any laws.
Things Turning For the Worse
Today, 17 Oct at 11AM, there was a mass labour union rally from the powerful Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which boast a membership of 470,000. Many union members walked off their jobs to join in the protest and to support the teachers. If this carry on, there is a strong possibility that the economy will grind to a halt, at least in British Columbia.

For me, it is one thing to support the teachers. It is yet another to disobey the law, even more so when a way out has been made last Thursday through the Court's decision. I must say that the government's argument of "who gives one the right to decide which law to follow and which not to follow?", hold water. Much as I would like to support the Teachers cause, I am increasingly uncomfortable with their blatant disregard even for the law. They should not break the law just because they say the government has previously 'broken the law'. If one condemns a sin, yet himself/herself committing the same sin, what difference does it make?

Cool Heads Negotiate Better
Pray that the teachers union leaders will take a step back and move away from their emotional grievances. With cool heads, have a meeting among themselves on how to temporary disengage themselves from breaking the law and go back to the classroom. Make it clear that they have not backed down on their insistence on negotiation. By doing that, they will be winning a moral victory in the hearts of many. If however they continue to picket and show inflexibility, not only will they lose moral authority, they would have lost their credibilities as teachers in the first place. The law no matter how much one dislikes (barring extreme poverty or Nazi like persecution or other like grievances), it ought to be obeyed.

Teachers come back, many children (my kids included) misses you.


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