Legal News

Labour Board designates essential services for B.C. students

The B.C. Labour Relations Board has issued an essential service order in relation to job action by members of the British Columbia Teachers Federation. The order covers what the BCTF has characterized as “Phase A” of its job action plan. The job action may legally commence at 8:30 a.m. on September 28, 2005.

The Board designated activities that BCTF members need not perform during Phase A of their job action. This list includes the preparation of report cards, attendance at staff or committee meetings, answering school office telephones and supervising detentions before, during or after instructional time.

The Board rejected the BCTF’s argument that submitting student attendance information should be included in the non-essential list. However, the Board indicated it would revisit this matter upon subsequent application. The BCTF has made an application on this issue which will be heard later this week.

Teachers must continue to provide supervision before and after school, at recess and at noon hour, if such supervision was normally provided by teachers previously. However, schools must utilize management and excluded staff to the best extent possible to replace teachers for these activities.

The Board further ordered that teachers must respond as directed to any situation which a school district identifies an emergency, leaving any dispute concerning the emergent nature of the situation for resolution at a later date.

At this stage in its job action plan the BCTF did not seek to withdraw services related to extracurricular activities.

The Board noted that its decision may be varied by the parties’ agreement or ongoing proceedings before the Board.

(Click here for full text of Decision)