OTTAWA, Nov. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - Leaders of 17 provincial and territorial teacher organizations are pleased that clauses and provisions in signed collective agreements cannot be removed at the whim of legislative powers as a result of a landmark decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on November 10.
The teacher leaders, in Ottawa today and Wednesday for the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) Board of Directors meeting, were buoyed by the SCC decision in favour of the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) whose legal battles date back to 2002.
Leaders hope the decision will help to realign the actions of the Nova Scotia government which is currently embroiled in a labour dispute with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, a CTF Member organization. Teachers in the province have given a strong strike mandate and are in a position to take job action as early as Dec. 3 after rejecting two tentative agreements that failed to address deteriorating classroom conditions, the quality of education, more efficient and effective investment in the public school system, or fair compensation for the important role teachers play in our society.
The SCC decision prompted teacher leaders to issue the following statement:
"Teacher leaders of the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) applaud the Supreme Court of Canada's decision of November 10, 2016, which reaffirms the right to collective bargaining as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Respecting the tools and mechanisms readily available in the collective bargaining process to resolve disputes would avoid legislation aimed at limiting or stripping away bargaining rights.
"Our freedom to associate has long been recognized internationally and in Canada as an important aspect of a fair and democratic society. Our collective action helps protect individuals from unfairness in one of the most fundamental aspects of their lives, their employment.
"CTF and all Member organizations will collectively and vigorously oppose any attempts by governments and employers of teachers to unilaterally determine working conditions for teachers or to otherwise undermine the principles of collective bargaining."
Founded in 1920, CTF is a national alliance of 17 teacher organizations which represent 231,000 teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of the 32-million member Education International. @CanTeachersFed
SOURCE Canadian Teachers' Federation
Image with caption: "Unanimous vote today at the CTF Board of Directors meeting in support of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. Seen here are the Presidents of teacher organizations across the country, representing close to a quarter million teachers from coast to coast. (CNW Group/Canadian Teachers' Federation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161115_C8155_PHOTO_EN_819463.jpg
For further information: Photo opps and Interviews with any of the presidents of CTF Member organizations can be arranged by contacting: Francine Filion, Communications Director, 613-688-4347 or [email protected]