Letter: Speed up court case

Why doesn’t the government place pressure on the Appeal Court to move its decision up in order to resolve the dispute, reader asks.

To the stakeholders of B.C.’s public education system:

Back in February 2014, the B.C. government won a stay to the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the 2002 legislation that removed class size and composition from BC public school teachers’ contract, in addition to stating that the government attempted to provoke the strike in 2012; the court ruling also stated that the government must pay the BCTF $2 million.  The stay in the court’s decision, at the behest of the government, was due to the government’s appealing the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision, rather than honouring the original ruling.

The Appeal Court is to make its decision in October 2014; however, the recent roadblock to mediation is the government’s attempt to avoid discussing class size and composition by having the public school teachers’ bargaining unit drop these issues from the table, despite the earlier court ruling.  According to the Minister of Education, the class size and composition issues should be decided by the Appeal Court this October.

If this is the true reason that the government is holding up the mediation process, then why doesn’t the government place pressure on the Appeal Court to move its decision up in order to resolve the dispute?

What would happen if all of the stakeholders – parents, students, teachers, CUPE school workers, school board trustees, superintendents, parental advisory councils, principals, vice principals, and MLAs – began working together to move this date forward?  Perhaps the kids would be back in school earlier than October.  One can hope.

Parween Irani

Chilliwack