SC Finally Decides to Hear Long-Running B.C. Teachers’ Federation Appeal

The Supreme Court of Canada has announced its decision to hear the appeal of the long-running B.C. Teachers’ Federation court case about bargaining rights. The announcement made on Thursday was welcomed by BCTF president Jim Iker, who mentioned that he is “very pleased” with the decision of the court to hear the case.

Mr. Iker stated that “it’s been 14 years since the original unconstitutional legislation that stripped our collective agreements, but B.C. teachers are still very committed to our efforts to win back those important working conditions for teachers, which are also our students’ learning conditions.” Whereas on the other hand, B.C.’s minister of education Mike Bernier pointed out that the government is still very confident in its position. He explained that “regardless of the court challenge, we are working collaboratively with the BCTF to implement the new curriculum and ensure teachers are trained to deliver its benefits to students,” adding that “it’s worth noting that since the last round of bargaining government’s relationship with the BCTF has never been better.”

Meanwhile, Iker stressed that while it is working well on some issues, the two sides are still in disagreement on funding. He explained that “a month from now, the B.C. Liberal government will deliver its 2016 budget. Enrolment is starting to increase after years of decline and we know there are more students with special needs, refugee students, and others with unique needs entering the system.” Iker alleged that “this is the year for government to make a real shift. It’s time to invest in B.C.’s kids again.”

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