Recent news stories detailing the number of teachers needed to be re-hired as a result of the finding of the legislative stripping of teachers' collective agreements as unconstitutional, is a stark picture of the duplicity and obfuscation characterizing this government's attitude toward public education since 2002. Their latest court appeal is not unexpected or even disappointing. After enduring the last dozen years, teachers have come to expect punitive attacks and deceit.
Madame Justice Susan Griffin is known in the legal profession as a real straight shooter and one of B.C.'s most respected jurists, which makes the damning conclusions of her decision in the B.C. Teachers' Federation case all the more extraordinary. Judicial writing like this doesn't come along every day.
The facts of the case are clear: the rhetoric of the B.C. government of seeking labour peace and stability and of providing parents and students with flexibility and choice is duplicitous. The intention was to rob the system of the funding it needs and to use teachers as scapegoats in the quest to get re-elected.