the BC Teachers’ Federation concluded an agreement-in-committee with the
provincial government. However, today the teachers of BC are continuing their
resistance to Bill 22 and its violations of their collective bargaining rights.
agreement came about only after a long and difficult round of negotiations
which were supported by teachers’ Phase One limited job action from September
to March, a three-day full-scale walkout, a province-wide action plan including
withdrawal of extra-curricular activities, and numerous actions before the
Labour Relations Board.
President Susan Lambert noted that the agreement provides some modest
improvements in terms of teachers’ benefits, which were extremely outdated, and
in some leave provisions.
the agreement fails to provide improvements to class size and composition or
salaries, and teachers’ labour rights continue to be trampled by Bill 22.
that reason, the BCTF is today filing notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court
regarding Bill 22. In its claim, the Federation
1. that government,
by prohibiting BCPSEA from agreeing to any increase in compensation or benefits
for teachers, or from agreeing to any restrictions on the exercise of
management rights, unconstitutionally infringed teachers’ Charter protected
right to free collective bargaining.
directions to BCPSEA resulted in bad faith bargaining.
3. that Bill 22, the
Education Improvement Act, infringed
teachers’ Charter-protected right to collective bargaining, by reinstating the
legislation which the BC Supreme Court has previously held to be
constitutionally invalid and which prevents teachers from bargaining important
matters such as class size, class composition, and staffing
levels. The legislation continues the deletion of hundreds of provisions
of the collective agreement, which were freely bargained by the parties, and
which provided significant benefit to teachers and students.
government passed regulations which provide compensation to teachers without
engaging in collective bargaining on this benefit, and despite directing BCPSEA
that it could not bargain compensation with teachers.
5. that the
government has failed to establish a fair dispute resolution mechanism, and
instead has unconstitutionally legislated that government will unilaterally
determine the content of the collective agreement.