UPDATES: BCTF awarded two million dollars in big court victory

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk

The latest legal battle between the BC Teachers Federation and the government has ended with the court again finding in favour of the teachers.

Today’s BC Supreme Court  decision means the government has to return class size, composition and specialist staffing levels to the collective agreement, as they existed in 2002 before bills 22 and 28 stripped it all away. BCTF President Jim Iker says it’s not just a great day for students and teachers…

“It’s actually a huge day for democracy that courts have ruled again in our favour and that goverment has to be careful of how it proceeds in legislation’

The government must also pay the BCTF two million dollars.

At a press conference this afternoon Education Minister Peter Fassbender  downplayed questions about the court’s ruling chastising the government for trying to goad the teacher’s union into a strike,  after it was ordered to act in good faith.

“You know,  those kind of comments just inflame the situation. The reality is every meeting I’ve had with the BCTF – it has been about finding collaboration and cooperation.”

Fassbender says he will not comment on whether the government will appeal or not until they get a closer look at the court decision.


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    • There has always, and only ever will be one payer. You’re looking at that person in the mirror. The government only has money because we give it to them, otherwise politicians would choose some other line of employment.

  1. All you anti union droolers should ask your government how many tax payer dollars they have spent on losing this court case twice in the supreme court of BC.
    Millions and millions in lawyers pockets on a case they knew couldn’t be won because their strategy all along was to goat the BCTF into a strike then impose a settlement.

  2. I suspect this was another perk the former ndp gov. gave the teachers before they got wiped out.
    The general public is not against most unions just government employee’s unions. I am self employeed waiting for a simple building permit, from Sechelt, but they allow there employees to work 15 min. extra each day as to take every other fri. off. In the mean time me and my crew wait
    . For a simple $133 permit

  3. I suppose we can expect a statement from the BCTF that they will be lowering their salary demands in order to fund the smaller class sizes. It’s about the quality of education, not the pay.

  4. Your missing the point the Liberal government took on a appeal in the supreme court for a second time with the same case as the first loss.
    You should be questioning why they spent millions on a case they already tried.
    The only reason the Liberals are in government now is because of the inept campaign the NDP ran , not because of good government.

  5. This is a great victory for public education. Teachers in this province have been telling government for YEARS that our students deserve reasonably-sized classes, a maximum number of special needs children per class, librarians, ESL teachers, etc. Our kids deserve the best education possible. These Liberals have crushed public education to the point that people are leaving and going to private schools because of the sad state our schools are in after years of neglect by this government.

    The two million dollars that the government/taxpayers have to pay the BCTF is money the government could have spent on children’s books and other resources. Instead, this government chose to goad teachers into a strike. Shame on them!

    To the union-bashers who have commented here, I wonder if you know any teachers like me. I have worked since I was 13 years old, held many jobs(mostly private sector paying minimum wage) working my way through six years of university, and I have NEVER had such a challenging, demanding, rewarding job as the one I have had for the past 23 years.

    Why is teacher-bashing such a sport in this province?!

      • ‘D”:

        If the government did not break the law in the first place, deprive a whole generation (K-12) of children of their right to a good education, waste much energy and financial resources in fighting an ill-conceived fight with teachers,much more than $2 million would have been available to put into the system.

        What is surprising is that the government has been slapped with just a $2m fine.

        By the way, when the BCTF was fined for illegal strike activity, I didn’t hear the Liberal government offer to put that fine back into the system.

        So much for your suggestion.

        • All saving from the stike went into education.

          And what fine are you referring to?

          But I am hoping that the BCTF now doesn’t come forward with a new position that smaller class sizes are harder to manage and therefore the teachers now require an even larger increase that they demanded last time.

    • Since when is getting the best result for taxpayer dollars goading a strike? Since when is refusing to bow in adoration to a historically greedy, intolerant, millitant and arrogant union teacher-bashing? I offer my appreciation to you having no doubt you are a fine caring teacher but I feel your loyalty to the BCTF is misguided.
      There does appear to be a glimmer of hope with Mr Iker’s new leadership style though.

  6. How long will it take for the BCTF to increase their demands on the government (Us taxpayers) for more and more and more and now all supported by a court. Did I miss something or when did the employees start to run the business when they have no skin in the game. The BCTF is populated by people that have consistently been against anything that helps fund the government through economic expansion. Where do they think the money to pay their salaries come from? And last time I looked at a school board’s budget over 85% of it went to the teachers. So who benefits the most from all this, our kids or teachers?

  7. The BC Supreme court has spoken-twice. When will this government learn that it cannot trample on the democratic rights of its citizens whether they be teachers, healthcare workers or any other ordinary citizen?

    it is high time that this government’s supporters respected the constitution and the court decision. Otherwise, those supporters may well be the next target.

    • Excuse me, but I do NOT consider labour negotiates a ‘right’ under our flawed charter of rights no matter what the Court says. Yes folks can associate with one another and in this case a union. But if elements in a labour agreement are toxic to the Taxpayer, the government must have the right to change such.

      It was the ten years of dark NDP government that created the problem min the first place by increasing Public Service union wages and benefits beyond what the private sector receives, and that is why education funding today is such a mess.

      • And excuse me too as I beg to differ with you but I respect the courts not the politicians.

        While you are entitled to your opinion, the court has spoken.

        If you want a system where governments are allowed to trample enshrined rights, there are a few other countries that you might consider moving to.

        It’s frankly too bad if you are unable to accept the decision of the BC Supreme court because you have a problem.

      • Stephen:

        The unfortunate part for you is that no matter what you “consider” to be correct, freedom of association IS protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Last time I checked, we are still living in Canada, and therefore ALL of the Charter rights apply to ALL Canadians. You cannot just pick and choose which rights you would like to see applied based upon your personal situation and viewpoint. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other countries you can move to where they are more laissez faire with personal rights and freedoms. Bon voyage!

      • Did you get that Stephen? You have a problem! You can’t pick and choose rights when someone else is picking and choosing their rights. The other guys rights always trump yours. And our perfect Canadian courts are never never never in error and if you disagree with that, well, you should move!
        Those statements and attitudes alone are good reasons for appeal.

      • Hi Stephen,

        Just to generate a bit more discussion and see what you have in mind…. Could you please provide your suggestion for the annual salary for a teacher with ten years of experience? Ten years is the point at which teachers reach the maximum salary on the pay scale. Thanks in advance.