When government and a public sector union start talking, the first thing the public does is reach for their cynicism pills.
That’s we because know both sides of the dispute have long ago succumbed to the first law of human organizations: sooner or later, they come to exist only for themselves, not their original purpose.
So the first we thing hear from both sides is the opposite of that. We hear how dedicated they are to the welfare of whatever segment of society they purport to serve. The Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union talks about improving classroom conditions, not boosting dues or fending off other potential unions. The government talks about the same thing, not the need to be re-elected in less than a year.
Both must appear as strong champions of their clients.
So you get the news releases we saw yesterday. (Provided here and here, with helpful annotations.)
But, what if they believed their own rhetoric about serving the public good? Instead of “news” releases, they could issue joint accountability reports to the public. Turpin Labs, always helpful, has developed the first draft of a template designed to help them. Perhaps explaining themselves in writing will clarify their minds. Suggestions are welcome.
CONTRACT TALKS UPDATE AND PUBLIC APOLOGY
The government of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union regret to inform the public that their latest round of collective bargain talks has failed.
Both parties are disappointed and re-affirm their commitment to good-faith bargaining and the welfare of Nova Scotia. We acknowledge our shared responsibility to parents and students, and apologize for the delay.
To date, we have found common ground in the following areas: (list them here)
Agreement has been reached on these areas: (list them here)
We continue to disagree in these areas: (list them here)
Why we cannot find common ground in these areas. (Government explains why here.)
Why we cannot find common ground in these areas. (Union explains why here.)
Signed (for government)
Signed (for NSTU)
Yeah, I know. But, really, I haven’t been smoking anything.