OTTAWA, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Teachers' Federation welcomes
recognition by the Supreme Court of Canada that the human dignity, liberty,
and autonomy of labour are protected by the right to collective bargaining
under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In a recent six to one decision, the Court ruled that the Health and
Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, passed by the British Columbia
government in 2002 trampled on the rights of health care workers in that
province, in particular their right to freedom of association as guaranteed
under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Today's ruling takes Canada in the right direction," says CTF President
Winston Carter. "In recent years several provincial governments have made
efforts to interfere in the free collective bargaining process. In British
Columbia, collective agreements negotiated in good faith by school boards and
teachers were stripped of many clauses by provincial government legislation.
Teachers in other Canadian jurisdictions have faced stripping of negotiated
rights and contracting out as governments have interfered in the bargaining
process. This Supreme Court ruling will protect teachers from such extreme
uses of power."
This landmark decision recognizes the fundamental and historic nature of
collective bargaining even before the existence of the Charter and supports
the International Labour Organization (ILO) rulings which have, on many
occasions, criticized Canadian provincial governments for their failure to
respect international standards within treaties and organizations to which
Canada is a member and signatory. Notable examples are the United Nations and
The Canadian Teachers' Federation applauds this progressive judgment
which puts a human face on the law.
CTF speaks for 220,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on
education and related social issues. CTF membership includes Member
organizations in every province and territory in Canada. CTF (www.ctf-fce.ca)
is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education
For further information:
For further information: Linda Hiles, Interim Director of
Communications, (613) 232-1505, ext. 130; Comments: Winston Carter, CTF