October 14, 2014 - 4:29 PM
VANCOUVER - A lawyer for the B.C. government told an appeal court panel that the province's stand against restoring clauses over classroom size and composition is no more inflexible than the union's refusal to offer any alternatives.
In an opening statement to the B.C. Court of Appeal, government lawyer Karen Horsman says good faith requires both parties to present alternatives, something the B.C. Teachers' Federation hasn't done in over a decade.
The province is attempting to overturn Justice Susan Griffin's ruling in the lower court last January that ruled removing clauses from the teachers' contract was unconstitutional.
That legal victory for the union was a rallying point during the protracted teachers' strike and its leadership repeatedly used the ruling to claim the government was attempting to bargain away rights declared by the court.
In her decision last winter, Griffin found the government had bargained in bad faith — and planned to provoke a strike — during the consultation process for a 2012 education bill that ultimately legislated a teachers' contract.
The union has consistently challenged legislation passed by the government in 2002 that removed hundreds of clauses around working conditions from its collective agreement.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014