When is fair not fair?

Article draws a parallel with teachers dispute with B.C. government

In the March 10 Globe and Mail there was an article that really opened my eyes. It centered around what’s fair and what isn’t. Before I get into specifics, let’s look carefully at the term fair. By dictionary definition it is: “free from bias, dishonesty or injustice; a fair decision; a fair judge.”

Now that fair has been explained, there should be no confusion in understanding its ramifications, or could there be?

The current issues between teachers and the government have been deemed as unfair by teachers and some of the public in general. The teachers say that the government is unfair in its dealings with key issues: e.g. class size; special needs students and teachers’ salaries. Maybe there is credence to these allegations.

On the other hand, the government is saying that there will be no salary increases, but that they will invest more money in addressing some of the non-salaried issues over the next three years. They further stated that many other contracts have been settled at “net-zero” with little or no service disruption. This doesn’t justify the term fair, it only points out what is being offered and done. Who’s right, the teachers or the government? The jury is still out on that one.

Now, to the article to which I made a reference in the Globe and Mail. It seems that the BCTF has a cadre of support workers that are looking for a new contract, in which demands are made for more money. Guess what the article pointed out with regard to these demands? If you said “money,” you’re right. The staff was told that there will be no room for salary increases and that there is a “net zero economy.” Is this fair?

Is this not parallel to what the government has offered to the BCTF? Is this really fair? It’s OK for the other guy not to get a raise, but it isn’t OK for the teachers not to get a raise? What happened to the old adage: “If it’s sauce for the goose, it’s sauce for the gander?”

I ask again, when is fair not fair?

Ron Barillaro