EDITORIAL: Supreme idea

They’re off to the big leagues now. The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the BC Teachers’ Federation’s case, arguing it was unconstitutional for the province to strip class size and composition provisions out of their collective agreement.

Famously, the Supreme Court never says why it chooses to hear the cases it does. Only about three per cent of would-be appeals make the cut but the supremes tend to opt for cases that address major questions about our fundamental freedoms.

article continues below

The basic question here centres on to what extent can teachers freely negotiate these types of working conditions into their contracts and whether governments have the ability to opt out of contracts when it becomes politically expedient.

And the Supreme Court justices’ ruling will become the law of the land, so no doubt, public sector unions and all three levels of government Canada-wide will be watching the case closely.

Without getting into the minutia of the legal arguments or even whether smaller class sizes are a benefit to students, it will be nice to have some level of closure. Every round of contract negotiations between the BCTF and the province and every painful labour dispute since 2002 has been coloured by this unfinished business.

Thankfully, things between the two sides appear to be more collegial now but this acrimonious chapter in the relationship between B.C.’s government and its teachers can’t be closed until the court has ruled.

No matter what the outcome, we’re glad to see this appeal will be heard at the highest level. A battle this long deserves a definitive end.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

Read Related Topics

© North Shore News

Report a Typo or Error

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The North Shore News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular News

Community Events Calendar