The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Opinion

Three Reasons Teachers Must Keep Picketing to Keep Pressure on BC Gov't

Strike strategy veteran Tieleman's advice: Only a fair deal for BCTF should bring down picket lines.

By Bill Tieleman 30 Aug 2014 | TheTyee.ca

Bill Tieleman is a former NDP strategist whose clients include unions and businesses in the resource and public sector. Tieleman is a regular Tyee contributor. E-mail him at weststar@telus.net or visit his blog where this first appeared.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender has publicly suggested the BCTF take down teachers' picket lines for a 2-week "cooling off period" while veteran mediator Vince Ready works with the government and BCTF negotiating teams to reach a collective agreement.

Don't do it, is my strong advice to teachers -- it's a trap.

I am sure many teachers are running out of cash or into deeper debt without a pay cheque and the thought of some cash in hand is tempting, as well as the enormous pressure from media, parents and students to get school started on time.

But if teachers drop their picket lines and go back to work on Sept. 2, it will lead to a disastrous result.

First, the pressure on the BC Liberal government is then off and it will go back to a hardline, no movement position.

Second, the BCTF will not be able to end negotiations -- no matter how bad the government offers and behaviour is at the bargaining table -- because it will not be able to get members back onto the picket line, nor will the public support it.

Third, Vince Ready will then put all the pressure on the BCTF to compromise far more than the government.

Don't blame Ready. That's how he and other mediators get deals -- by forcing the weaker party to surrender on more and more of their demands until a deal is reached.

Bargain from strength

No one should think veteran negotiator Peter Cameron, Fassbender or Premier Christy Clark want the two-week cooling off period to get kids back to school -- they want it to get the BCTF into an impossible to get out of corner!

So teachers, don't listen to the media, some of whom are putting out some amazingly uninformed, inexperienced and contrary to all labour-relations experience commentary.

It is not "reasonable" to give up the only strength you have to get a negotiated contract -- a picket line that stops schools from opening.

Make no mistake, the BCTF will have to make some concessions to get a deal.

But bargaining from a position of strength -- not weakness -- is the only way to get an acceptable agreement.

As someone who spent six years as director of communications at the B.C. Federation of Labour working on many disputes, two years as an employee representative at the B.C. Labour Relations Board, and the past 16 years as a communications and strategy consultant for unions, I speak with experience.

Don't make a huge mistake and listen to the cooling off appeals. Get an agreement that works for you as teachers and for your students, then go back to work.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll