Province not above law on bargaining rights

Constitutionally protected right to collective bargaining was established by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2007

Re: B.C. Views (News, Feb. 5)

As a serial violator of workers’ charter-protected rights, the B.C. government is solely responsible for its failure to convince courts that it should be able to run roughshod over collective bargaining rights.

As Tom Fletcher points out (B.C. Views, Feb. 5), this constitutionally protected right to collective bargaining was established by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2007 in response to contract-shredding legislation imposed without consultation on health-care workers five years earlier.

But I have to take issue with Fletcher’s suggestion that this charter right was “invented” by the court.

It was no more an invention than marriage equality rights for same-sex couples, consultation rights for aboriginal peoples or accommodation rights for people with disabilities.

It’s time for our provincial government to accept that they are not above the law when it comes to the collective bargaining rights of teachers, health-care workers or anyone else.

Bonnie Pearson

Secretary-Business Manager

 

Hospital Employees’ Union