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US National Labor Relations Board: Northwestern U scholarship football players are employees, can unionize

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Education

The US National Labor Relations Board (N.L.R.B.) ruled today that Northwestern University scholarship football players are employees and therefore can unionize and bargain collectively. The ruling was contained in a 24-page decision issued by Peter Ohr, a
regional director of the N.L.R.B. 

The university has posted the following statement on its website in response to the ruling:

Statement by Alan K. Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations, in Regard to Decision by NLRB Regional Director

March 26, 2014 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is disappointed by today's ruling by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board finding that Northwestern University's football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees and directing that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern University.  read more »

Terminated employee ordered to pay UBC $5,000 in costs due to improper conduct during human rights proceeding

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In Wells v. UBC and others (No. 5), 2011 BCHRT 176, an employee terminated by the University of British Columbia ("UBC") for benefits fraud was ordered by the BC Human Rights Tribunal to pay UBC $5,000 in costs as a result of her improper conduct during a human rights proceeding.

The order was made pursuant to section 37(4) of the BC Human Rights Code.

The improper conduct in question was misrepresentations she had made to the Tribunal regarding why she had delayed in filing her late complaint.

A story in The Province about this decision can be found here: "Fired worker must cover $5g in costs" (July 8, 2011).

ONCA: teacher had reasonable expectation of privacy on work computer in face of no clear policy

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Education

In R. v Cole, 2011 ONCA 218, a criminal law case, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a high school teacher had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of a work laptop computer on which he was entitled to store personal information.

In making this finding, the court pointed in part to the fact that the employer had no clear privacy policy relating to teachers' work laptops, and no policy statement  reserving the right to monitor or search the teachers' laptops.

However, the appeal court further ruled in its March 22, 2011 decision that:  read more »

BC Teachers' Federation opens Charter challenge of Bills 27 and 28 in BC Supreme Court

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

Here's the content of what the BC Teachers' Federation posted on their website today concerning their Charter/legal challenge of Bills 27 and 28 which were enacted by the BC Liberal government in 2002.

The new legislation ended the BCTF's ability to collective bargain class size and composition; guarantees of service from teacher-librarians, counsellors, learning assistance and other specialist teachers;, the length of the school day, and hours of instruction in the school year:

Legal counsel for the BCTF began opening arguments before Madam Justice Griffin in BC Supreme Court on November 15, in what promises to be a significant case determining the rights of teachers and their unions. The BCTF is challenging Bills 27 and 28, imposed by the BC Liberal government in 2002, because teachers believe the legislation violated their right to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  read more »