Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Teacher Fined for Respecting the Law

It’s hard to believe anyone could ever get into trouble for not breaking the law.

But that’s what happened to teacher Margaret Christopherson who crossed a picket line last year during an illegal strike in British Columbia.

According to her husband, Christopherson simply went to work because she didn’t want to break the law and set a bad example for her students.

Yet her union doesn’t care.

The Nicola Valley local of the B.C. Teacher’s Federation says Christopherson broke their rules and they placed her and three other teachers in “bad standing.”

As well, the union is demanding Christopherson pay the union the money she earned during the two-week strike.

Isn’t that dandy?

The union breaks the law and holds an illegal strike and they want a law abiding teacher to pay a penalty.

Christopherson has filed a complaint with the B.C. Labour Relations Board.

Let’s hope the Board uses some common sense and sides with the teacher in this case.

Union rules should not trump the rule of law.

3 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

This is ridiculous. I am no fan of unions fining teachers for crossing picket lines during a legal strike, but at least they have a legitimate argument here. Teachers should never face a choice between breaking the law and getting in trouble with their union. Off course the union will claim the law is unjust, but thats why we have elections. If they don't like the law, vote against the government and work to defeat them, which they did, and they failed. There is also the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but if the teachers actually thought declaring education as an essential service was a violation of the Charter, I suspect they would have launched a challenge but now, so the fact they haven't, says to me they know full well the law is constitutional.

Anonymous said...

Only in B.C.? Nope. I recall the sentiments of teachers in Ontario who chose to defy their unions by helping students during the Bill 160 illegal walkout. In particular, an Iroquois Ont. teacher who fought the union in court. I believe the fellow lost, but his penalty was some ridiculous fine and that he couldn't stand for union office. Big deal! The teacher ended up being the big winner with his community and his students. I'd sooner have a school full like him than a bunch of sheep.
Actually there was an organization in Ontario comprised of hundreds of teachers who wanted alternate representation to the teacher unions. There is a similar drive in the U.S. that's been very successful.

Anonymous said...

Unions like to fine members for crossing picket lines, but it never stands up in court.