April 6, 2009
TO: Canadian Teachers Association
FROM: Roger Callow aka ‘Revolting Roger’
MESSAGE: Included are 5 pages outlining the lead civil case in Canada vis a vis contract rights.
This 24 year unresolved teacher ‘lay-off’ case impinges on all Canadians holding Union memberships and threatens to rewrite not only employment law for teachers but for all Canadians holding contract rights.
It would appear that the West Vancouver School District in 1985 would seek to hide a dismissal behind a fictitious ‘lay-off’ which has never been proven in law despite over 30 judges and two inconsequential trips to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The myth that the two most recent judgments would stick to is that the ‘collective agreement’ process is still intact although neither judge has stated how that may happen before a hostile Union. In short, a coterie of judicial decisions has hidden behind the fact that the British Columbia Teachers Federation/ West Vancouver Teachers Association has hidden behind a B.C. Labour Board Decision permitting the Union to abandon this case without either returning to arbitration as so ordered by the court or signing a final agreement with the School Board; their only other option. My volunteered option of continuing towards a resolution with the School District (I believed I always had that right but in my case, the courts decided otherwise) at my own expense was not only rejected but actively opposed by the B.C. Union in the last two court hearings.
Consequently, my Pension Rights remain in limbo as the Public B.C. Teachers Pension Fund refused to acknowledge my pension claim to which I contributed for many years. Apparently, although we have no way of knowing, the rejection is based on the fact that I do not have a valid termination date although in absence of a termination decision from the court, I gave my retirement notice in 2006 at age 65.
Currently, I am mounting a campaign across Canada to seek support in asking local B.C. Teacher Associations to pass a motion insisting that the BCTF/WVTA pass unfettered control over this case to me so that I may finalize at my own expense my termination with the School Board and collect my pension.
Regrettably, Canada’s teachers have stood idly by while my rights of contract in B.C. were abused to a level where the very essence of contract language in Canada is at stake. Indeed, the whole notion of Union protection across Canada is now in deep question.
Will the Canadian Teachers Association stand idly by while work pensions controlled by government go the way of a written contract?
July 1,2006 - sorry, no good wishes for Canada Day or ‘in solidarity’ to you
OPEN LETTER TO JOHN GORDON - PSAC NATIONAL PRES.
TO: John Gordon PSAC National President FROM: Roger Callow
MESSAGE: Thank-you for the courtesy of a response to my letter of May 6/06; something no other major Union Leader nor your predecessor were prepared to do under similar circumstances.
Regrettably, your conclusion is probably shared by your colleagues: "...As for the substance of your allegations, it is not my practice to criticize another union, and I decline to do so in this instance...". While you didn’t state, you could just have easily added...’besides, I’m up to my ass in alligators snapping at my backside to such a degree that I have no energy let alone inclination to take on any other issues including World War III’. I’m not ignorant of the horrendous load on a modern Union leader nor do I lack sympathy on that accord. For example, a plaintiff letter from the Amalgamated Transit Union pleading for more grass roots support in North America (I am a retiree) is reflected in this capitalized statement from a local Teachers’ Association: ‘YOUR SILENCE WILL NOT PROTECT YOU’. And yet it is silence of a type you and your ilk would demand which I submit is of a contradictory type to your over-all cause.
Your statement ‘the Supreme Court is the final step when legal proceedings take place’ parallels the thinking of Senator Romeo D’Allaire’s response to me (see web site) and my rebuttal to him that if he wished to retain his credibility, he could not ‘suck and blow at the same time’. Not for him, nor for you also it would seem is Professor Martin’s dictum on the Supreme Court: THE MOST DANGEROUS BRANCH: How the Supreme Court of Canada Has Undermined Our Law and Democracy - Canada’s top court is so highly politicized, that it has abandoned legal principals in making decisions, preferring instead to decide matters on the basis of "values" that reflect the judges personal preferences. Even the generally conservative media on attacking institutions has this to say: Ottawa Citizen columnist Brigitte Pellerin;(caption)"COURTS SHOULD UPHOLD THE LAW, NOT FASHIONABLE OPINION" and columnist David Warren’s more pointed observation:"Tyranny of Fruitcake Upper Court Judges". And yet to think your response to the above is to say and do nothing...not very encouraging for your members for a Union movement with its collective back to the wall in North America.
Unions have always realized that, to be effective, they must have a ‘closed shop’ and be able to defend any of their individuals targeted by management excesses. A little known truth beyond Union management is that the Unions have lost that legal ‘billable time’ battle to the better entrenched management. Hence the birth of the ‘sweetheart deal’ which is paramount in the ‘Employee’s Case (Canada)’; the publicized existence of which has in other cases in the past destroyed individual Unions. In that regard, a weak Union is better for management purposes than no Union at all. In the above case, the scenario goes as follows: 1) government passes Union busting legislation - Union publicly condemns their action, 2) targeted individual or group is selected for a legal case, 3) Law states in above case, for example, that in the case of a lay-off and in the succeeding event of a successful petition by an employee, a second named employee will be laid off and so on until the appropriate employee is dismissed. Sounds logical but here is the reality. At $100,000 a crack for the Union’s participation alone, it is a no-brainer for the arbitrator, the West Vancouver School Board employer, and the Teachers’ Union as they all have a vested interest in seeing the scapegoat ‘scaped’. In the above case, the fact that in all probability I was not indeed laid off by the West Vancouver School Board in 1985 (‘habeas corpus’) doesn’t fizz with you. Union leaders should be made of sterner stuff! The further fact that the Canadian Justice System imploded over this case (no legal answer cannot be a legal answer in this Kafkaesque situation) would, it appears, also be condoned by you. In the words of B.C. Supreme Court Judge Hollinrake; ‘You have a right to a court decision but not in his court.’ UNIONS‘If not yours’, I asked, ‘then in whose court’?... ‘I don’t know’... ‘In other words, not ‘your department’....’Not my jurisdiction’. Unfortunately, as a Leader of a National Union, it would seem that you would be cognizant of such ‘mind games’...and you would do nothing?...not a very comfortable message to your members.
Recently, I paraded with my protest placards by a rather effete group of PSAC protest workers picnicking on the Sparks Street Mall being watched over (rather pathetically, I might add) by two RCMP constables sent for the purpose. My placard which seemed puzzling to some PSAC workers in an earlier demonstration: PSAC EMPLOYEES PUSSYWHIPPED came to mind.
While at heart I count myself a good Union supporter, nonetheless, PSAC should be very grateful I am not working for management considering the kinds of view on unionism that their president and no doubt other Union leaders hold...but then, management really doesn’t need me as the Union movement has shown it is quite prepared to hoist itself on its own petard.
Preamble to Supreme Court of Canada Appeal
(This Appeal denied in June/04 – explains why Canadian Justice System imploded)
This preamble makes an unusual request regarding habeas corpus
The correctness of the lay-off of teacher Roger Callow from his teaching position in West Vancouver in 1985 has never been properly tested. That fact flies in the face of the law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada and yet over 30 judges up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada has not seen fit to insist that Mr. Callow be provided the key evidence of School Board meeting notes pertaining to the matter of his lay-off. To that extent, the judicial system is a part of the conspiracy charge which Mr. Callow has laid against the Teachers Union and the School Board and yet, due to the nature of the law, can only be referred to obliquely. Should the Supreme Court of Canada proceed on the frivolous and vexatious charge by which Mr. Callow is estopped from being granted a legal hearing without insisting, in this most unusual of cases, for the necessary disclosure of evidence to be provided to him; namely, the School Board meeting notes of 1985, then all Canadian law is at an end. Conversely put, it may be asked, how may Mr. Callow defend a negative which is a logical impossibility; namely, that he was not indeed laid off by the West Vancouver School Board in June of 1985?
There are good grounds to conclude that Mr. Callow has been the object of a massive conspiracy to deny him access to the laws. In 1986, Justice Mary Southin, in quashing the arbitration favouring the School Board claiming, as she did, that the arbitrator had been patently unreasonable in his conclusion favouring the School Board, had stated that ‘nowhere did the Board express a willingness to lay off a teacher under the new statute’ implying the fraudulency of the School Superintendent’s letter to that effect. Mr. Callow from his experience from the condemned arbitration in which no School Board member was called to the stand to explain how an increase of 16 teaching positions – any number of which Mr. Callow was capable of holding – submits that, while knowing otherwise, he is being denied any hearing which would give him an opportunity to voice his dissent. Certainly no such reference to the lay-off was publicly made in the monthly report in June of 1985 where the additions were noted in arbitration. No mention is made of any lay-off.
Considering that Justice Southin in 1986 ordered that all material pertaining to the lay-off of Mr. Callow be made available to the court and no doubt serves as the basis of her conclusion, then we submit such information would be the property of the Union and therefore should be made available to Mr. Callow even though the court has decreed that the Union has full control of this matter as far as questioning the matter of his lay-off. Both the Union and School Board steadfastly refuse to hand over this vital information. Indeed, it would appear that it was the laying of a conspiracy charge against the two parties which prompted the current frivolous and vexatious charge by which those two have successfully evaded having to produce the vital ‘missing link’ information. The failure of the two Appeal Court decisions of the B.C. Supreme Court to address that concern is at the heart of this appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Simply put, how can the justice system of Canada in all good conscience deny Mr. Callow access to the court to resolve an unresolved legal matter which even the court has declared should have been re-arbitrated. The fact that the original arbitrator passed away under a law which would not see the appointment of any other arbitrator calls into play the courts role of inherent jurisdiction in order to finalize this case. Failure to do so up to and including one appeal already to the Supreme Court of Canada is a denial of the letter and spirit of the law in Canada.
- o -
UNIONS - drop Union/Association membership as it is counterproductive to the interests of individual employees. (Seniority provisions and hence contract language, for example, are redundant due to management-union leadership plus Labour Board complicity sanctioning the 'sweetheart deal')
'It is better for any employee to be sent to the Tower of London than to go before the B.C. Labour Board.' Black Roger
The fifth attempt to get a hearing before the B.C. Labour Board in which witnesses can be called to contest B.C. Teacher Union action has been shot down once again; this time by Vice-Chair Laura Parkinson on April 9/2002 after a l5 month delay. Her document is a support of a question raised and answered earlier by B.C. Justice Sigurdson; "If the Union and Employer agree to settle for 5 cents, is there anything Mr. Callow can do about it? Response from both the Union & Employer lawyers - 'No.' Hence all employment contracts including those for B.C. Teachers are meaningless pieces of paper in the light of sweet-heart deals. The pertinent sections of Parkinson's decisions on this point are as follows:
51. As the summary of the law reveals, a union does not have to abide by the wishes of an employee in deciding the fate of the employee's grievance. The duty of fair representation does not oblige a union to accept an employee's request to reject an offer of settlement...
58. As I have previously observed in another Section 12 (lack of fair play by the Union) decision where a complainant rejected a settlement and the union abandoned further efforts, one of the risks of the strategy of holding out for a better deal is that the offer may be gone...
In so many words, the above statements give sanction to the 'sweetheart deal' in which the employee is made powerless to protect his own rights. That is the case for all Union/Association members. It is not the case in the Employee's Case (Canada) as this matter is a court as opposed to Labour Board matter. The Labour Board was only asked to adjudicate the 'status question' created by the courts by me as there was no other body available for the purpose. The case, therefore, continues to sail on a sea of red tape.
FAILURE TO STRIKE AN APPROPRIATE BALANCE BETWEEN EMPLOYEES RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF THE UNION (Callow appeal of LB Parkinson document above - Sec. #3)
There is no conflict in this case between Callow's interest and other Union members interest. In fact quite the reverse is true. It is in every teacher's interest to demonstrate that School Boards not be permitted to circumvent the statutory protections against dismissal for alleged incompetency.
It is well understood that collective bargaining schemes require employees to give up certain individual rights, such as the right to sue employers for disputes arising out of the collective agreement, and that in giving up these rights to the Union, the Union is charged with an obligation to represent the employee fairly. However these schemes were never intended to prevent a union member from dissenting or disagreeing with his/her union's position. The effect of Vice-Chair Parkinson's decision is to do just that
In the circumstances of this career ending grievance, there has been disagreement between Callow and his Union representative. Granted the Union has the right to conduct the grievance on its terms, within accepted parameters. It does not, however, have the right to compel the Union member to agree with its conduct of the grievance. Further, it can not abandon a grievance simply because the griever disagrees with the union's conduct of the case or disagrees with a settlement he believes to be unfair. It must proceed to settlement, and can not compel the union member to agree to the settlement. To do so would abrogate the union members right to dissent. The union, being the only party competent to settle the grievance, must do so in a manner that comports with its fair representation mandate. The Union member is entitled to the benefit of that settlement even if he/she disagrees with it. Further the union member has a right to whatever remedies are available to complain (sue - RWC) about the ultimate settlement. Surely individual rights in the trade offs inherent in collective bargaining schemes have not been suppressed to the extent that individual Union members rights to protest nave been eliminated.
Here the Association after telling Callow it would settle his claim whether he agree to the settlement or not (March 18, 1999), did a complete about face on June 3, 1999 and said it would not proceed to settlement without Callow's authorization. Vice-Chair Parkinson approved of the Union's decision to abandon the grievance because Callow refused to approve of the proposed settlement. By so doing she effectively reduced his right to dissent to meaningless token status by saying in effect, that he could disagree but if he did he would have no remedy.