Down to the crunch

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Negotiations between the province and the teachers’ union are still dragging on and the two sides don’t seem to be making much headway at getting a contract signed.

We are at the middle of June and the end of the school year is at hand so there won’t be much impact on students now, but the spectre of a work stoppage continues to loom over next year.

The summer break will soon provide a couple of months for representatives of the teachers and government officials to get beyond their differences and sign a fair deal without throwing families into turmoil.

It’s been decades since the last work stoppage at schools and that became a nasty ordeal before it ended.

Parents were left with children who should have been occupied but they were out of school. And working parents — like most are these days — had few options for their care.

The provincial government is in a tough spot with these talks, and politicians likely know it already.

There will be a provincial general election within the next year or so and the ruling Tories will be going to the people looking for a renewed mandate.

The last thing they need now is a teacher strike in the fall upsetting students’ school year and leaving parents scrambling to find someone or somewhere to fill the gap.

The longer these talks drag on the closer the government will be to having a clash between a teacher strike and an election campaign.

No one expects government to give away the shop to teachers, but as always, there is a somewhere in the middle that will moderately satisfy the demands of both sides.

It’s time to get moving on finding a solution and get beyond the nonproductive public back and forth that is beginning to come to the fore.

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