The long and bitter 15 year battle between teachers and the provincial government over cuts to class size and composition is finally over, and we’re now getting a look at the price tag.
The Ministry of Education says the government dropped $2.6 million dollars over the course of the litigation.
$1.7 million went to staff lawyers and $900,000 for external lawyers.
It says the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General did the majority of the work as part of their assigned cases.
In a statement to CKNW, Education minister Mike Bernier says “some people have exaggerated the costs of the legal dispute between the BCTF, but failed to realize most of the work was done internally by government lawyers.”
The BCTF says it spent $3-million on external lawyers.
The dispute was sparked back in 2002, when then-premier Gordon Campbell tore up teachers contracts which included bargaining provisions over class size and composition.
That led to years of court battles, culminating decisive Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the favour of the teachers’ union last November.
Earlier this month, the BCTF and the Ministry of Education came to an agreement on the first phase of implementing that ruling, which includes $50-million to hire the equivalent of 1,100 teachers.
Several districts, including B.C.’s most populous, Surrey, have already put the call out for new teachers.