Case Nos. 2196/ 2180 / 2166 against the Government of British Columbia

British Columbia
May 2002
Case status: 

Health Care Services Continuation Act, 2000 (Bills 2, June)

The Act ended a province-wide strike by health care professionals, imposed a 60-day “cooling-off” period and ordered the parties to resume bargaining.

Health Care Services Collective Agreements Act, 2001 (Bills 15, August)

The Act imposed a three-year collective agreement on health care professionals based on the terms of the employer’s last offer. The Bills was introduced after the 60-day “cooling-off” period imposed by Bills 2 (see above) failed to reach a collective agreement.

Skills Development and Labour Statutes Amendment Act, 2001 (Bills 18, August)

The Act restricted the right to strike for employees in the public school system by extending the designation of “essential services” to teaching and non-teaching personnel and prohibited strikes until essential service designations had been made by the Labour Relations Board.

Education Service Collective Agreement Act, 2002 (Bills 27, January)

The Act impacted on more than 45,000 teachers employed by schools boards in the province. It imposed on them a three-year collective agreement that contained terms and conditions of the employer’s last offer. The legislation prohibited the right to strike without providing access to an independent arbitration process.

Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act, 2002 (Bills 28, January)

The Act permitted public school board employers to override negotiated collective agreement provisions for teachers regarding class size, courses to be taught, hours of instruction and job security. It also allowed for contracting out.

Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, 2002 (Bills 29, January)

The Act eliminated much of the job security protection for health and social service workers that their unions managed to bargain as part of their collective agreements. The legislation empowered health and social service employers to “contract out” to non-union employers not bound by the terms of the collective agreements, notwithstanding clauses to the contrary in collective agreements.

Case No. 2196 was submitted by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) (May 2002); Case No. 2180 was submitted by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) (March 2002) and Case No. 2166 was submitted by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) (December 2001). NOTE: There was a fourth complaint against the same six pieces of legislation (Case 2173) which is considered to be still open for follow-up the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association

All six pieces of legislation were found not to comply with the principles of freedom of association.