Many column inches have been plowed reporting on the British Columbia Federation of Labour's support for striking teachers - which includes a demonstration tomorrow at the provincial legislature. But what you may not know is that the federation may have an unreported personal, political and financial interest in backing the teachers' union. Astute Public Eye readers will remember the teachers voted in 2003 to affiliate with the federation - costing them an estimated $248,000 annually, plus a $15,000 contribution to the group's campaign and defense fund. But that affiliation agreement was only for a three-year trial period. And teachers will be voting at their upcoming March annual general meeting as to whether they want to remain federation members - which would mean paying out an addition $248,000 annually to join the Canadian Labour Congress. So, given those stakes, it's not surprising the federation is playing Starsky to Jinny Sim's Hutch.
Additionally, federation president Jim Sinclair has a strong personal connection to the teachers' union - a connection that appeared but was not mentioned on the front-page of Wednesday's edition of The Vancouver Sun. Photographed at a demonstration protesting the government's handling of the teachers' dispute was educator Susan Croll, federation president Jim Sinclair's longtime partner.