Letter writers praise and criticize the recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling on education.

‘Common sense’ ruling on teachers

Taxpayers, represented by the B.C. government, are in charge of the public purse, not the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

The Supreme Court of B.C., in a four-to-one ruling, has come down with a common-sense ruling – that it is the taxpayers, represented by the B.C. government, who are in charge of the public purse, and not the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. That is, the BCTF does not have a unilateral constitutional right to dictate to the B.C. taxpayers what class size or class composition should be.

The next step for the BCTF is to go to the Supreme Court of Canada for a final decision. This august body of judges, has the option of hearing or not hearing this case.

Since any decision on this case would affect every classroom in Canada, and not just the classrooms in B.C., the Supreme Court of Canada will weigh their options carefully.

Meanwhile, the individual teachers in B.C. will have to make up their collective minds whether to shell out more money in legal fees for more court challenges or cut their losses. The latter would be the rational and prudent choice. The former would be herd mentality.

Fred Perry, Surrey


Class size and composition are what protects learning conditions

The court ruling against teachers was a dark day for unions, our children and our future as a society; we can’t be supported by an uneducated, unemployable next generation.

The B.C. Liberals’ Bill 22 is the culprit of today’s legal battles. It set a precedent. Previously negotiated language was struck out by the stroke of a pen. A generation of children have graduated from a system that has been and continues to be underfunded, held together by dedicated, stressed-out professionals.

Class size and composition are what protects teaching and learning conditions. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed.

Can we put one nurse in charge of 20 patients and expect good care? There must be class limits in order to teach all children well. It is a disservice to a special needs child when a teacher is unable to carry out an individual education plan. If we don’t limit the number of special needs students in a class, there isn’t enough physical space for all their educational assistants.

It is undemocratic for governments to renege on collective agreements. It’s vital for teachers to fight this at the Supreme Court of Canada. I believe there is whole-hearted support from all parents, teachers and workers across Canada.

Niovi Patsicakis, Surrey

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