BC Supreme Court justice Brenda Brown’s Oct. 13 decision surprised everyone by freezing the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) strike fund rather than imposing heavy fines.
The restrictions imposed by Judge Brown includes no more strike pay for BCTF members.
“This is a troubling and unprecedented decision, and unions throughout BC and across Canada are taking some time to understand it and to coordinate our responses.” CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill told members.
CUPE members who have been off the job in schools because they are not crossing BCTF picket lines are not affected by this ruling.
In reinforcing support for BC’s teachers O’Neill said, “Unions invest in our defence funds in order to defend members’ rights when they are under attack. This is what the BCTF, and CUPE, have been doing. We know that laws, especially in BC, can change very quickly. Our rights usually very hard fought, can be swept away with a piece of legislation. The teachers are in a fight against a very unjust law. We are in support of that fight. “
O’Neill assured CUPE members in BC that labour movement leaders are meeting regularly to assess strategy and he asked all members to show support by joining teachers on the picket lines whenever feasible.