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BCTF to seek leave to Supreme Court of Canada on "political protests" case

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

It was reported in an article in today's Vancouver Sun that the BC Teachers Federation will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the "political protests" case.

The BC Court of Appeal dismissed their (and the Hospital Employees Union's) appeal in a decision handed down on February 4, 2009.

BC Court of Appeal hands down decision in "political protests" case

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In a decision handed down on February 4, 2009 - British Columbia Teachers' Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Assn., 2009 BCCA 39 - the BC Court of Appeal ruled that the political protests/work stoppages conducted by members of the BC Teachers Federation and the Hospital Employees Union in 2002 were "strikes" in contravention of the BC Labour Relations Code.

In dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal ruled that while the definition of "strike" in section 1 of the BC Labour Relations Code infringes the freedom of expression guarantees in Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the infringment is justified under Section 1 of the Charter.

The Court of Appeal further ruled that the defnition of "strike" does not infringe Section 2(c) or Section 2(d) of the Charter.

The Court of Appeal's decision upholds - in the result - previous decisions of the BC Labour Relations Board and the BC Supreme Court (2007 BCSC 372).

"Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues"

The First Nations School Association ("FNSA") has prepared a "Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues" (September 11, 2008). As stated in the introduction, the Handbook:

...is aimed mainly at Participating First Nations that will take jurisdiction over education pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act (Canada), the First Nations Education Act (BC), and various jurisdiction agreements. The purpose is to identify steps that schools and Participating First Nations can take to prepare for the transfer of jurisdiction in connection with employment issues.

The Handbook has three parts:  read more »

Can a "professional" have his/her notice entitlement limited to that in the BC Employment Standards Act?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

Mr. Wong, a chartered accountant, was hired by UBC in a newly created position of Controller, commencing on September 3, 2002.

The letter confirming his employment stated that the terms and conditions of his employment would be those found in two agreements that UBC had entered into with the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff. One of these agreements contained the following terms in relation to notice:

An employee terminated during the probationary period for reasons other than just cause shall receive notice or pay in lieu of notice in accordance with the provision of the Employment Standards Act.

UBC ended up not implementing Wong's position and thus his employment was terminated just under 7 months later. UBC took the position that, in accordance with the employment contract, it was required to provide him with only 1 week's pay. However, "out of courtesy", it had paid him 1 month's salary.  read more »

BC Labour Relations Board Upholds Dismissal for Viewing Pornography

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In University of British Columbia and CUPE Local 2950 (2005), 138 L.A.C. (4) 358; aff'd BCLRB No.B288/2005, the grievor was dismissed by UBC on the basis that he had used the university computer equipment for the purpose of viewing and exchanging sexually explicit material, inclcuing conversations with an under age individual, such conduct being contrary to UBC's technology policy.

The policy stated that illegal use of the computer system included the distribution of pornography materials to minors and child pornography it did not expressly prohibit the viewing the adult pornography.

On this point the arbitrator concluded that the fact that viewing adult pornography was not identified specifically as an example of an acceptable and unacceptable use cannot be read as endorsing access to adult pornography as an acceptable use.

In addition the departmental directive had been issued that had warned staff to use he computers for unprofessional purposes with the most obvious example the viewing of inappropriately materials such as pornography.  read more »