BCTF Claim Victory in Supreme Court
Prince George, B.C. – “It’s a great win for the students and parents in British Columbia.”
The words of Prince George and District Teachers’ Association president Richard Giroday following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision today which will allow the BC Teachers Federation to negotiate class size and composition.
Both the BCTF and the province were set to make arguments at a hearing today however a decision on the matter came from the bench. The vote was 7-2 in favour of the teachers.
Giroday says it’s the end of an ongoing battle between the provincial government and teachers since the government tore up teachers contracts in 2002.
“This is the end of the line. The Supreme Court has the final say and they said the government violated the constitutional rights of teachers when they enacted their legislation and did what they did.”
He says it means relief is on the way for students who need additional supports, such as counselling, and ESL support.
“We have classes right now where there are nine independent education programs for nine students in a class,” says Giroday. “And we’re talking primary school students. It’s a nightmare, it is stressful, it is very difficult for teachers to provide the kind of support that they need to give to students.”
250News contacted B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier for comment but he hasn’t responded.