From the be-careful-what-you-wish-for file comes the not so smooth negotiations Delta is experiencing with its unionized workforce.
In years past, these two parties have encountered some difficulties in reaching collective agreements, although much of the blame, or at least some of it, was directed at Metro Vancouver's Labour Relations Bureau. The bureau was originally thought to be a beneficial arrangement by allowing local governments throughout the region to bargain as a whole, but in recent times many jurisdictions, Delta included, have left the fold.
The thinking over at municipal hall was Delta would have an easier time striking a deal if it negotiated directly with its employees, represented by CUPE Local 454, rather than having to factor regional issues and demands into the equation.
So, how's that been working out? Well, as of the end of next week, the union will have been without a contract for 11 months and last week its members voted in favour of filing for mediation.
That's not to suggest Delta would have been better off to remain in the bureau or that a settlement here will be a long time coming, but rather to highlight the fact that regardless of the way bargaining is structured, it's rarely a painless process.
From the outside looking in, it actually appears the two sides aren't that far apart. The union's wage demands are in the cost of living range and it's even discussed the possibility of agreeing to a 6.75 per cent hike over four years (similar to what has been reached in a couple of other areas in the Lower Mainland) if it can gain improvements elsewhere in the contract.
It's kind of ironic the union is pointing to the settlements in Vancouver and New Westminster as a precedent because the worry previously, and one of the big reasons the bureau came into existence, is because of the danger of the domino effect.
It was feared that all it would take was one well-heeled local government, or one that was more labour friendly than the rest, to strike a rich deal that would subsequently be held up by every union local as the template for other municipalities to follow.
The precedent being used this time around doesn't appear to be so onerous that it would prevent other local governments from inking similar agreements, so I suspect the dominoes will begin to fall fairly shortly.
And Delta will have signed its first contract under the new and improved bargaining structure.