Paul Boscariol and Michelle Mungall both expressed disappointment that the BC Court of Appeal recently overturned two previous rulings in a decade-long court battle over teacher's bargaining rights.

Appeal court ruling stuns Nelson teachers

B.C. teachers have vowed to take decade-long battle over bargaining rights to the Supreme Court.

A local teachers union rep says he was surprised by a BC Court of Appeal ruling last week that favoured the government in a decade-long court battle over teachers’ bargaining rights.

“As individuals and as different levels of union officials and collectively as an organization, we’ve been up and down constantly,” said Nelson and District Teachers’ Association president Paul Boscariol.

“We were buoyed by the first two decisions, but this one here came out of left field. No one anticipated this,”

He said the battle would have continued to the Supreme Court of Canada either way because the government surely would have appealed had the decision gone the other way, but now they’re obliged to return $2 million they had been awarded previously.

The conflict began in 2002 when the government removed certain bargaining rights from the teachers’ collective agreement. The BC Supreme Court has twice ruled in the teachers’ favour.

Boscariol said the long fight has been exhausting.

“It’s pretty sad because there are a number of teachers whose entire careers have been nothing but turmoil.”

Boscariol said the outcome of this court battle could have huge implications.

“It calls into question the validity of contracts. It was my understanding that a contract is a legal binding document signed by two parties or multiple parties. That’s what I understood, and then they swooped in and said ‘no, we can do this’.”

Boscariol said it’s not a given that the case will continue, as the Supreme Court only heard eight of the 80 cases brought to them last year.

“It’s interesting that it wasn’t unanimous,” said Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, noting that she was wasn’t worried by the BC Court of Appeal decision, as she has assumed all along that the case would go to the Supreme Court.

“I’m by no means a legal representative, but I want to make sure that in Canada, as a democratic country, we see laws that uphold rights for collective bargaining. We’ll have to see whether or not this case does that.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heart, minds, and 100 years of the Nelson library

Past and future collide this year at the Nelson library, and it all kicks off this weekend

Crows, pirates and Segways: L.V. Rogers students make projects out of passions

The Grade 12 students presented their capstone projects Wednesday

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

Leafs lose in 2OT to Border Bruins

Nelson fell in Grand Forks on Tuesday

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Kelowna’s “Baby Mary” finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read