Sure the signing bonuses likely helped. And the raises too, even though many of them are just getting folks back to where they were before.
So why were so many of British Columbia's public sector workers heaving a sigh of relief this week?
I don't know for sure, but I do know why my friend A. is relieved.
A. cleans the building at the very fine, still quasi-public, institution where I ply my trade. She is one of the most conscientious, hardest working people I know (much harder working then me). And I remember commiserating with her when her union was smashed by the administration of the very, very, very fine q-p institution where we work and the Campbell government a while back.
A. is not a rabble rouser, but back then she was dismayed and she was scared, especially about how she was going to pay her mortgage if the outsourcing began.
So when I saw her today she told me she was happy.
And I was glad.
And then she told me why.
"I'm just glad that I still have my job," she said.
And that made me sad, very sad indeed.
Because this is a woman who has worked, and worked hard, for the institution for more than 25 years and she was scared that she was going to be thrown out on her ear, five years from retirement just so the big bossmen and bosswomen could score a few ideological points (ie. for no good reason at all).
And in my book that is just not right (or left).
*with apologies to Jonathan Franzen.