Friday, June 6, 2014


Photo is by David P. Ball
Let’s examine how likely it is that teachers will get a fair deal with Peter Cameron as chief negotiator.

Cameron is the hired gun negotiator mandated to bring resolution to the Liberal government and BC Teachers dispute. Cameron’s reputation as a strong and shrewd spokesperson was birthed at the vanguard of the Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW) in 2002 when he was their chief mining negotiator. Then he was on the workers’ side. He was appointed as a union panelist on the LRB (Labour Relations Board) for a four-year term. In an acrimonious departure he left CAIMAW to join Unifor and Health Sciences Association becoming its executive director in 1990. In 1992, he became NDPs assistant deputy health minister. He was now on employer's side and he never returned to the union side of the negotiation table.

He immediately brokered a ‘social contract’ with the B.C. Health Care workers that was a win-win for government as well as workers. However, under the Liberals, Cameron, at no time has negotiated for workers, any deal outside the tight-fisted government imposed guidelines and restrictions. This displays his hand, his loyalty. He could broker a wage increase for teachers if he chose to do so because he clearly understands that the government does have money despite the denials. Instead of the evenhanded skill of a celebrated negotiator, he now plays to the public with predisposed comments that predict another inequitable conclusion for teachers in B.C.

In the above piece, I have précised a remarkable article written in The Tyee on 24 May 2014, by Rod Mickleburgh, entitled, ‘Who is the Man Steering the Fortunes of BC Teachers.

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