What does the Supreme Court decision mean?

Dear editor,

On Nov. 10, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled for B.C. teachers after a 14-year legal battle against the B.C. Liberal government.

What does this mean for us?  How does this impact the students of the Comox Valley?  How can we afford this?

The Supreme Court has ruled that the language that was stripped from teachers’ collective agreements back in 2002 is now restored, as is the right to bargain this language moving forward.  The language in question all has to deal with class size, composition, and ratios for specialist teachers.

In the Comox Valley this means that there will be specific limits on how many students can be in classes (i.e. kindergarten enrolment is limited to 20, split intermediate classes to 27, and secondary English and Science classes to 28).  Teacher librarians shall be provided on a ratio of 1:702 students (currently we have one teacher librarian who services 14 of our elementary schools), and a counsellor shall be provided at 1:463, to name but a few of the improvements.

The B.C. government is currently sitting on a $1.9 billion surplus.  This is money that has been taken from taxpayers and has not been spent on programs for the citizens of British Columbia.  The BCTF has estimated that the education system will need $300 million a year to meet the contractual obligations established by the restored language.  That means that the government can fund this language for the next six years just from the surplus alone.  The money is there to ensure we have a thriving public education system that is so vital to our country’s growth and success.

While this decision is only days old, there needs to be immediate action on addressing this now restored language.  Secondary class size issues can be addressed for the second semester.  Librarians and counsellors can be hired.  The provincial government has spent long enough ignoring the needs of B.C.’s public schools, instead moving forward with a costly legal battle.  The Supreme Court gave their verdict in less than half an hour, recognizing the need for immediate redress, now we just need a commitment from the B.C. Liberal government to recognize the right of law and to support our children’s education.

Shawn Holland CDTA Vice-president

 

Just Posted

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Comox connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Most Read