B.C. government rules out appeal of court ruling on public school class sizes
The B.C. government says it will not appeal a B.C. Supreme Court ruling on the right of teachers to have class size and composition included in their contracts.
Education Minister George Abbott today (May 5) said he is hopeful the government can instead negotiate a resolution with public school teachers.
In a news release, Abbott said a prompt resolution is in the best interests of students, teachers, and parents.
He also said the province “has decided not to pursue an appeal” of the B.C. Supreme Court ruling, which was released in April and declared provincial legislation to be unconstitutional and invalid.
Introduced in 2002 when Premier Christy Clark was education minister, the legislation deprived teachers of the ability to have the issues of class size and class composition included in their collective bargaining agreements.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation, which represents public elementary and high school teachers, challenged the legislation, saying it stripped teachers of their collective bargaining rights.
The court gave the province 12 months to respond to the ruling, suspending the invalidity declaration during that period.
Paul Straszak, Public Sector Employers' Council president and CEO, has been appointed to lead initial consultation with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.