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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 3, November/December 2005

Flip-flop policies and directives from Victoria

by Noel Herron

What’s up with the Ministry of Education in Victoria? First, Education Minister Shirley Bond announces that BC school boards would retain the savings from the recent 10-day teacher strike, only to be flatly contradicted by Premier Campbell a few days later.

Second, Deputy Education Minister Emery Dosdall, gives a mean-spirited order to all school boards to make strike pay deductions in one fell swoop (an intrusion into local school board autonomy), only to be countermanded by a directive from Shirley Bond that boards could determine their own payroll schedules.

Third, Deputy Minister Dosdall’s recent, and by now well-known order to school boards to repurpose themselves in light of a potentially huge upcoming reorganization (to be tabled in spring legislation) allows only a month to respond.

Questions: will we now have a third flip-flop in view of the initial angry reaction of many boards to the bare-bones proposal? And will the minister contradict the deputy minister once again?

I am reminded of the lines from the famous Abbott and Costello skit: Who’s on first? What’s on second? And are the BC Liberals on third?

Noel Herron is a Vancouver school trustee.



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