VANCOUVER, Nov. 4, 2011 /CNW/ - Proposed changes to the College and Institutes Act fundamentally
discriminate against union activists and severely limit the powers of
elected board members, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
The changes - which are included as part of Bill 18, the Advanced
Education Statutes Amendment Act - would ban union activists from
serving on college boards, prohibit elected board members from serving
as chair, and make it easier for the government to remove elected board
"These legislative changes don't make any sense," says BCGEU president
Darryl Walker. "They say that regular union members can serve on
college boards, but that union activists are specifically prohibited.
If enacted, this legislation would remove our members' constitutional
right to freedom of association.
"The government cannot use conflict of interest as an argument either,"
says Walker. "Conflict of Interest legislation already regulates
members of public bodies, and union activists are no more in conflict
than regular union members who may sit on these boards."
Other proposed legislative changes include a ban on elected college
board members serving as chair, and new powers granting boards the
power to remove elected members with a 2/3 majority vote.
"This legislation is Orwellian, in that it creates two classes of board
members," says Walker. "If you are elected from your community, you
become a second class board member, and the government can easily use
their appointed majority to remove you if you disagree with their
"This government seems to have learned nothing from the Supreme Court
battle over labour rights. Legislation that mandates elected employee
group representation but bans employee representatives cannot stand.
The government should do the right thing by withdrawing this
legislation and engaging in a public consultation on these changes
before moving forward.
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
contact Chris Bradshaw at 604-291-9611 or 604-369-8411