For those of you who have not yet seen it, there was a revealing article in the Globe and Mail last Friday about the events that led to the agreement that was reached between the BC Teachers Federation and the Government the previous weekend. It certainly speaks to many things about the negotiation process, especially how mutual trust, respect, and a sincere understanding of common goals can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This was quite in contrast with the public statements both sides were making, particularly Premier Clark’s “unlimited massages” comment at a September 3rd press conference, which only solidified their positions and left students and their parents with ever mounting frustration.
It also says a lot about the importance of relationship building and maintenance that after 12 years of discord, a 45 minute meeting was all it took for the two sides to believe they were both willing to work towards a reasonable compromise. Of course there were many other motivations that drove to this resolution, but It is a shame that so much productive time was lost largely because each side paid so much attention questioning the other’s interests in the media.