IN 1987, teachers across BC voted to unionize and locals gained full rights to bargain on behalf of teachers at the local level. The scope of
bargaining included salary and benefits as well as the working and learning conditions in their schools and classrooms.
Since then a series of legislative changes have altered the bargaining landscape. The following is a partial list:
• Public Education Labour Relations Act (PELRA) (1996)
• Education as an Essential Service Act (2000)
• Bill 27- Ed. Services Collective Agreement Act (2001)/Bill 28 – Public Education Flexibility & Choice Act (2001)
• Bill 12 – Education Improvement Act (2005)
• Bill 33 – Education (Learning Enhancement) Statutes
Amendment Act (2006)
• Bill 22 – Education Improvement Act (2012)
In April 2011, Justice Griffin ruled that Bills 27 and 28 were unconstitutional and that teachers have the right to bargain class size and composition. Although Bill 22 referred to a return of these rights, the government has yet to meaningfully address remedy for the impact of this legislation over the past 13 years.
On a positive note, the BCTF and BCPSEA have now ratified a Framework for Provincial Bargaining and negotiations begin on February 4th.
For further information and some great links see the attached pdf on Bargaining Rights.