Description: The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the B.C. government violated teachers’ Charter rights in 2002 when it passed a law that removed clauses that included limits on class size from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s collective agreement.
Source: The Vancouver Sun
Questions for discussion:
- Which Charter rights did the court find the law violated?
- What effect do you think this ruling will have on the current collective bargaining negotiations between the Teachers’ Federation and public sector employers?
- How do you think this ruling will affect other public sector workers in Canada?
- In her decision, Supreme Court Judge Susan Griffin says: “The whole point of the Charter protection of collective bargaining is to allow employees the freedom to associate so as to collectively influence their working conditions, through strength of numbers which equalizes an employee’s bargaining power with the employer.” Why do you think the “strength of numbers” might be required to balance an employer’s bargaining power?
- Think of an employment relationship you are personally familiar with. Is there a balance between the employer’s and employees’ powers?