B.C. didn’t infringe on teachers’ rights, court rules

BC's highest court has ruled the province did not violate teachers' charter rights, reversing two lower court decisions

  • Apr. 30, 2015 7:00 p.m.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s highest court has ruled the province did not violate teachers’ charter rights, reversing two lower court decisions in favour of a union that has fought for class size and composition clauses in its contracts.

The union has the option to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which has already heard previous cases involving the two sides.

Two earlier rulings from the B.C. Supreme Court said the government infringed on teachers’ rights when it removed their ability to bargain class composition and size with separate legislation in 2002 and in 2012.

Four of five appeal court judges agreed to overturn the latest ruling, writing that the province consulted with teachers in good faith negotiations leading up to the legislation.

The appeal court also released a separate, unanimous decision that ensured that confidential cabinet documents that were revealed in the most recent trial would be kept secret.

B.C. Supreme Court judge had ruled that BCTF could share its written submissions, which quoted from the private government documents, with its members, but the appeal court overturned that ruling.