Binding arbitration unlikely in teacher dispute


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The province and the teachers union have been looking at mediation to help resolve the labour impasse, but so far none of the requested mediators have been willing to get involved.

UBC Sauder School of Business Industrial Relations professor Mark Thompson says binding arbitration isn’t likely at this time since it’s usually reserved for when the two sides are quite close with only one significant sticking point.

“One of the reasons we don’t expect arbitration here is the parties are quite far apart on some things and neither side I think would want to trust that decision to a third party,” Thompson explains.

He adds the government could also possibly legislate themselves out of an outcome it didn’t like, “that has been done in the past and was being done frequently by the Campbell Government and then the Supreme Court came along and said you can’t do this willy nilly so the the full meaning of that decision is still being ironed out.”

Thompson says any decision can also be challenged, but that’s something that generally doesn’t sit well with an arbitrator.

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