06/15/2012 05:56 EDT | Updated 08/15/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. teachers can only withdraw from some activities, LRB rules

When school resumes in September, B.C. teachers will have the right to continue to withdraw from extracurricular activities.

The Labour Relations Board said Friday that the B.C. Public School Employer's Association can't force teachers to volunteer their time outside the classroom.

Susan Lambert, BC Teachers' Federation president, said she's pleased with the decision but disappointed the employer would try to force the teachers to participate.

"The relationship between teachers and the employer are pretty taut right now and for the employer to go to the LRB at this time on this matter was troubling," she said.

Melanie Joy, the B.C. Public School Employer's Association chair, said they had little choice but to force the issue.

"We were trying back when we put the application in to get our schools back to some sense of normal after a very difficult and trying year," Joy said.

Joy said the Labour Relations Board did confirm that teachers must participate in school district meetings and parent-teacher conferences; however, Friday's LRB ruling found that teachers do not need to participate in after-hours coaching, sporting events, field trips or graduation ceremonies.

Lambert said she can't say what teachers will do this September, but warned it would be a mistake for the government to impose a settlement.