Supreme Court will hear B.C. contract case in early 2006
B.C. health care unions take Campbell government to Canada's top court
Vancouver - The legality of Bill 29, the legislation used by B.C.'s
Liberal government to shred signed collective agreements in 2002, will go on trial in the Supreme Court of Canada early in 2006.
The country's top court will hear the legal arguments advanced by B.C.
health care unions on Feb. 8-9 to determine whether the legislation
violates basic rights protected by Canada’s Charter of Rights and
The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE),
in co-operation with the Hospital Employees’ Union and the B.C. Nurses
Union, has argued throughout the long legal battle that the
bill is heavy-handed and violates both equality and freedom of
association rights guaranteed by the constitution.
During the election campaign that brought him to power in 2001,
Premier Gordon Campbell pledged to respect existing public sector
Once elected, Campell did the opposite. He announced a $1-billion tax cut on
first day in office, disproportionately benefiting upper income groups.
Then, pleading poverty, he rammed through Bill 29 on Jan. 29, 2002,
abrogating public sector contracts that had previously been negotiated
and signed with the province.
The bill, which has been criticized by the United Nation’s
International Labour Organization (ILO), arbitrarily eliminated key
contract provisions such as job security, limits on contracting out,
seniority, successorship and labour adjustment programs.
It also paved the way for the Campbell government to launch an
aggressive scheme of health care privatization in which thousands of
workers — mostly women — were fired.
BCGEU staff counsel Ken Curry is hopeful that the Supreme Court will
overturn the draconian legislation and restore fundamental human
rights for thousands of health care workers.
“This legislation has had a devastating impact on the lives of so many
workers,” says Curry. “That’s why our legal team will be working hard
to have it struck down.” NUPGE
UN agency condemns violations by British Columbia
NUPGE files more complaints against B.C. Liberals
B.C. Liberals ordering health care unions back to work
NUPGE seeks ILO investigation of Ontario and B.C.
NUPGE urges ILO to send special mission to B.C.
Sweeping ILO ruling slams actions of B.C. Liberals
NUPGE seeks special investigation of B.C. Liberals
Unions challenge Bill 29, B.C.'s contract-busting law
Web posted by NUPGE:
19 August 2005