BCTF Online Museum

Court Case Timeline

January 2002

BC government passes Bill 29 tearing up healthcare workers’ collective agreements.

January 2002

Then Minister of Education Christy Clark tables Bill 27 & 28 imposing a contract on teachers and stripping local agreements of class size and composition, staffing levels for specialist teachers, support for integration of students with special needs, and hours-of-instruction language. Healthcare unions and the BCTF immediately challenged the legislation. (Healthcare unions went to court first while the BCTF held its legal challenge in abeyance pending the outcome of the healthcare workers’ case.) The government also imposes an arbitration process to remove the provisions from collective agreements, and vapourizes several local agreements in there entirety.

January 28, 2002

Teachers throughout the province rally to protest Bills 27 & 28.

April 2004

The Supreme Court quashes the arbitration process and the government responds by passing Bill 19 to remove all provisions from collective agreements.

June 2007

Healthcare workers win a landmark decision in the Supreme Court of Canada upholding the right to collective bargaining.

November 2010

BCTF challenges Bills 27, 28, and 19 in BC Supreme Court.

April 2011

BC Supreme Court rules that Bills 28 and 19 are unconstitutional as they violate the Charter rights of teachers. Justice Griffin gives the government one year to rectify the situation.

March 2012

BC Liberal government passes Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, to end any meaningful collective bargaining. Government also claims that the legislation is in response to Justice Griffin’s decision, repealing the prohibitions in Bill 28 and then immediately restoring them. Bill 22 does restore teachers’ rights to collective bargaining, and staffing ratios-but not until July 2013.

September 2013

BCTF returns to the BC Supreme Court seeking proper restoration and damages for the stripping of the collective agreement and to argue that Bill 22 is also unconstitutional.

January 27, 2014

BC Supreme Court Madame Justice Susan Griffin delivers her verdict restoring stripped language to collective agreements and awards BCTF $2 million in damages.

February 4, 2014

BC Government appeals court decision.

October 2014

BC Court of Appeal hearing takes place. The government challenges the BC Supreme Court decision for finding that pre-legislative consultation is irrelevant to the issue of whether government’s action, in re-deleting the restored language, violated teachers’ freedom of association. Government also challenges the finding that its conduct in the Bill 28 discussions was in bad faith.  In the event that it is wrong on the merits, the government also challenges the awarding of retroactive damages and in awarding Charter damages.

April 30, 2015

The BC Court of Appeal delivers its ruling and allows the appeal by government.