It’s an announcement many of the province’s educators have been waiting for. Today Canada’s highest court said it will hear an appeal from the BC Teacher’s Federation over its right to negotiate class size and composition.
President of the Prince George District Teachers Association, Richard Giroday, says the issues over class size and composition must be solved.
“I can tell you that I’ve shed a few tears when I’ve seen a few kids and the supports they’re not getting. It’s tragic, it’s heart breaking when those little children are not receiving the supports that hey need.”
Since 2002 teachers in BC have not had authority over class size and composition as per a BC Supreme Court ruling. Now the Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal over the ruling of that decision.
Today in Vancouver, BCTF President Jim Iker, said the organization hopes for a positive outcome.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to present our arguments to the court and hopefully win back the important working conditions for our teachers which we believe were unconstitutionally stripped from our collective agreement.”
Before becoming president of the Prince George District Teachers Association Richard Giroday was a teacher for 25 years. He saw first hand the challenges faced by both teachers and students when the proper support systems were not in place.
“Our students learning conditions took a real nosedive back in 2002 when they stripped all those out of our contract. And really that’s what this is all about. That contractual language is all centered around class size and composition and in particular its the supports for students. And that’s really what this is all about.”
Following the teachers strike in 2014 a long term contract was signed between the teachers and the provincial government. The relationship between the two parties has improved since that time, but many of the province’s teacher say class size and composition is an important issue that is yet to be resolved.
A hearing date for the appeal has not yet been set. BCTF president Jim Iker says he hopes it can be held in the fall with a decision announced sometime next year.