Fallout from BCTF ruling is staggering

By Les Leyne | Published January 29, 2014 by The Times Colonist

The political aspect to this week’s Supreme Court decision on the B.C. Teachers Federation case is pretty clear.

It’s one of the most severe findings a court has issued about government conduct in years. The B.C. Liberals have been thrown for a big loss on the education front.

Justice Susan Griffin declared the government deliberately tried to secretly provoke a strike by the BCTF in 2012 to create a political advantage.

Low-grade BCTF job action that year was frustrating everyone. The government wanted to bring it to an end, by forcing the union’s hand. When the full school shutdown that the B.C. Liberals wanted didn’t happen, they increased the pressure on the union “so as to provoke a strike.” Why?

The judge said it was because it was so important to the government strategy, which was to win support for imposing legislation on teachers who were withdrawing some services on a kind of work-to-rule campaign.

There are no rhetorical denunciations in the judgment. The findings speak for themselves.

She ordered the government to pay the union $2 million for bad faith. Trust me, it got off easy.

It’s the practical effect of the decision that’s not yet clear. It appears to send the education system back to 2002, when class-size limits and strict formulas for teacher-librarians, specialists and requirements about class composition were all in the contract.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/les-leyne-fallout-from-bctf-ruling-is-staggering-1.805566

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