29 Mar ’12
Gov’t amendments do nothing to fix flawed post secondary legislation
The BC Liberal government tabled amendments to Bill 18 today that do nothing to address concerns that the legislation will punish union activists and deny their constitutional right to freedom of association.
If enacted, Bill 18 would ban union activists involved in collective bargaining or dispute resolution from being elected as staff representatives on college, institute and university Boards of Governors. The Bill would also prohibit elected board members from serving as board chair and give government-appointed board members unprecedented powers to remove elected board members with a 2/3 majority vote.
The amendments tabled by the government today would expand Board of Governors’ ability to remove board members, and mandates that only government appointed members can serve as chairs of university Boards of Governors.
“This Bill is another example of a government that seems to have lost its ability to listen to reason,” says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “These changes seem motivated by ideology and undermine the democratic process. How can the government justify legislation that mandates the election of staff representatives on a board, and then allows unelected board members to remove them?
“These amendments only further entrench the undemocratic elements of the Bill, rather than address its failings. There’s been no attempt to amend key sections that ban union activists from serving as staff representatives on the boards – a blatant denial of our members’ basic democratic rights.”
Walker urges BCGEU members and citizens to continue to put pressure on the BC Liberal government to withdraw the undemocratic sections of Bill 18, by visiting the BCGEU’s Bill 18 campaign page at: http://www.bcgeu.ca/withdraw_Bill_18 where they can get more information and send an e-mail to Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamota and NDP Opposition critic Michelle Mungall, telling the government to remove these sections of the legislation.