Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking News: BC Supreme Court finds law restricting teacher bargaining unconstitutional

Just out ...

The BC Supreme Court has released its decision regarding Bills 27 and 28 which limited the rights of teachers to negotiate class size, class composition and school calendar.

Paragraph 381 reads: "I conclude: a) In enacting ss. 8, 9 and 15 of PEFCA, and s. 5 of the Amendment Act, the government infringed teachers' freedom of association guaranteed by s. 2(d) of the Charter. b) This infringement was not a reasonable limit demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Charter."

These sections prohibit teachers from negotiating class size and class composition limits, as well as extended day and year-round schooling.

The Court provided a one year period for the government to "address the repercussions of this decision".

The Court commented on the effects of the legislation for teachers:

"The legislation undoubtedly was seen by teachers as evidence that the government did not respect them or consider them to be valued contributors to the education system, having excluded them from any freedom to associate to influence their working conditions. this was a seriously deleterious effect of the legislation, one adversely disproportionate to any salutary effects revealed by the evidence."

You can access the full decision here:

Excellent reminder of Christy Clark's role is on Vaugh Palmer's blog here:

More analysis coming soon...


  1. Thanks Tara for getting this stuff out there so quickly.

  2. Well done Tara. It is already being tweeted by Keith Baldrey and others. Goes to show the power of communication and social networking. Bravo!

  3. Thanks for the perfect link to send out to members today!

  4. Yeah! A huge victory. Great work Tara, thanks for this.

    It will go out to Haida Gwaii right now.

    Evelyn von Almassy
    Haida Gwaii Teachers' Association

  5. Wow! At last some vindication and some recognition of the arrogance and contempt for teachers those Bills represented. The future looks a little brighter now for our members and our students.
    Thanks, Tara

  6. Thank you for posting the information online so quickly. It made our day.

  7. Jessica Van der VeenApril 13, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    You mess with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you are messing with our children's future and their rights.

    How poetic that Christy Clark should be back in the spotlight to stand accountable for this legislation which was not only unconstitutional, but stood in violation of the International Convention on Human Rights.

  8. Jack MacDermot said...
    Thanks for the links, Tara.

    Haven't read the whole decision yet, but it's clearly a huge win.

    The Vaughn Palmer link was a vivid reminder of our new Premier is really all about. Her speech introducing this odious legislation is full of ridiculous Orwellian doublespeak.

    Apparently it was our negotiated provisions on class size and composition (the evil "mathematical ratios" and "rigid formulas") that were harming children's learning.

    The legislated approach worked so much better, other than a few thousand classes.

    I did get a chuckle when she referred to the support for these bills by Reggi Balabanov...