The BC Labour Relations Board on Friday, September 29, 2000 ordered an end to the BC Teachers Federation “Say No to Accreditation” campaign for the duration of the provincial collective agreement. This ruling should allow school boards to resume the accreditation process. The BC Public School Employers Association had filed a complaint with the Labour Relations Board on behalf of BC school boards alleging that the campaign was an illegal declaration and authorization of a strike.during the term of the collective agreement.
BCTF had urged teachers to resist participating in the schools accreditation process as due to a dispute with the provincial government over the nature of the process and the workload it imposed on teachers. Despite changes to the process that significantly reduced the burden on teachers, BCTF continued its opposition and campaign of resistance. This campaign had threatened the ability of school boards to comply with Ministry of Education requirements to successfullly complete the mandatory accreditation process in hundreds of schools across the province.
On Monday, October 2 2000, the Labour Relations Board issued the following order effective Friday, September 29 2000, bringing an end to the campaign:
WHEREAS the Labour Relations Board has received an application from the Applicant under Section 133 of the Labour Relations Code alleging that the Respondent and employees of the School Boards in the bargaining unit fo the REspondent have engaged in and continue to engage in a strike against the School Boards contrary to the provisions of the Code;
& AND WHEREAS the undersigned were established as a Panel of the Board pursuant to Section 117 of the Code to deal with this matter;
AND WHEREAS the Board has read the application of the Applicant dated September 26, 2000, the submissions, and all other relevant material on the file;
AND WHEREAS the Board is satisfied that notice of the application and the hearing referred to below was adequately effected on the Respondent;
AND WHEREAS the Board convened a hearing at its offices at 360 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C. on September 29, 2000, at which the parties appeared;
AND WHEREAS the parties were afforded a full opportunity to present evidence and make submissions.
WHEREAS teachers and school boards are required to participate in school accreditation in accordance with the School Accreditation Regulations and the Accreditation Policy (Interim) B.C. Public Schools dated May 30, 2000 (attached)(hereinafter referred to collectively as “school accreditation”);
NOW THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2, 133, 139 AND 143 OF THE LABOUR RELATIONS CODE, THE LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD MAKES THE FOLLOWING ORDER:
1. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation shall rescind its “Say No to Accreditation” campaign made on or about March 31, 2000 until June 30, 2001.
2. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation shall refrain from discouraging its members from participating in school accreditation until June 30, 2001.
3. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation shall advise its members to comply with directions of their employer relating to school accreditation.
4. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation shall inform its members of the terms of this Order.
DATED AND EFFECTIVE at Vancouver, British Columbia this 29th day of September, 2000.
Michael Fleming, Vice Chair
Vern Carter, Member
Colin Snell, Member
The BC Public School Employers Association and school boards were represented by Harris & Company counsel.
The order required BCTF to inform its members of the terms of the order. BCTF has issued a “School Staff Alert” (click bleow) containing part of the order and giving its view as to what the School Accreditation Policy (Interim) does and does not require teachers to do.