The endless summer of our discontent

Will mediator Vince Ready make it glorious autumn?

Aslan is coming! Aslan is coming!

I mean, Vince Ready is coming!

In the enchanted land of Narnia — I mean, B.C. —  it was endless summer, just like the Beach Boys compilation album. It was endless summer, but never vacation — for the parents were restless, anxious and angry. The children were bored and unfulfilled. That’s endless summer for you. It’s like endless winter without Christmas, only different.

When summer stretches into September, into October, into — what’s that you say? Possibly November? — that’s not summer vacation. That’s a long period of unemployment.

When a teachers’ strike/government lockout begins at the end of the school year, one would think it would be easy to forget about it, as summer vacation begins. But no one really did, neither parents nor students. “How will they resolve the issue before September,” we asked plaintively. “What will happen if they don’t? How will it affect our kids if school doesn’t begin in (two/three/four) months? What contingency plans can we make? OVM (Oy Vey ist Mir)!

“The two sides are so far apart. The bitterness, mutual distrust and dislike goes back so many years. Is this the end of public education as we know it? Oh woe!”

But, what’s this? A rumour of hope!

Mediator Vince Ready has agreed to monitor the situation between teachers and the Province, and will commence full mediation if signs indicate it could be a productive step. Oh my goodness!

Just like the arrival of the Christlike lion Aslan heralded the long-delayed arrival of spring in the enchanted land of Narnia, the leonine mediator is Ready to step in and conVince both sides to reach a middle ground of mutual satisfaction, bringing sweet, sweet autumn to the enchanted land of B.C. All through these evenings of endless summer, phones are ringing, and people are whispering “Have you heard? Vince Ready is coming! At last!”

Vince Ready is the greatest labour arbitrator this country has ever had. He has been involved in settling thousands of disputes. He understands both the union side and the management side. He is the toughest, the most sympathetic, the smartest, the wisest, the quickest witted. He is both the pen and the sword. Huzzah!

He thinks outside the box. He builds his own box. Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association will sit in the box that he builds, like cats. They will purr at his suggestions for settling this most acrimonious of labour disputes. All the bells in B.C. will ring! Every dog will bark!

Vince Ready has seen it all. He has been settling labour disputes as an independent arbitrator and mediator since 1982. He knows all the tricks! Hip Hip Hurrah!

He will convince the BCTF that their contracts must be somewhat in line with other unions. He will convince the government that teaching is a profession unlike any other, and must be treated with respect, with appropriate funding to deal with class composition, etc. How can he do this? He can do this because he’s a jolly good fellow!

The parents are saying, in those hushed endless summer evening phone calls, that if Vince Ready can’t do it, no one can. But no pressure, eh, Mr. Ready?

Now is the summer of our discontent made glorious autumn by Vince Ready. Children will pack up their school supplies, and head gladly off to school come Sept. 2. Teachers will get the help they require and the wages they deserve. The government will get back to governing. The rest of us will get on with our lives with all the myriad stressful details, all the while grateful to our fabulous public education system and its teachers, administrators and staff for helping prepare our children so well for the rest of their lives.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read