Please do not send any factums, etc. to me as I will return them unopened.
Please do e-mail me your questions regarding lay-off/dismissal where seniority is at question.
June 11-2014 If possible, B.C. teachers should post-pone strike action until after summer as too many things can go wrong over the summer as Ontario Teachers found out with BILL 115.
OBSERVATION: B.C. Teachers should not be lulled into complacency by the CUPE settlement with the government. Indeed, just the opposite. What I see evolving is a government push for a strike in June; followed by a government edict for any teacher not arriving on September 1 to have to re-apply for their job. All will eventually will be accepted back except for a senior teacher or two in order to break the back of seniority and with it the value of the Union connection. In the second year, many senior teachers will be laid off.
QUESTION: How should I proceed legally as a victim with some seniority of a (B.C.) teacher lay-off?
1) I sympathize with your plight...been there, done that...and still doing it 29 years later.... There are no other teaching jobs to go to and the job market for academics is tight. Do not sit around waiting; take any work in the interim. Expect the public perception of you to be that you were let go because you were a 'bad' teacher.
2) Hire your own lawyer apart from the Union lawyer. e.g. On a June Day in 1992, natural biologists turned up for work in Ottawa to be faced with a clerk sitting at a table accompanied by two security guards. My friend approached the table, gave his name which was crossed off and was directed to the right (others were directed left). 'Just like Auschwitz' he opined. His group got pink slips; the others were confirmed in their jobs. 'I have seniority and have done many of the tasks by some who have been retained,' he told the Union leader 'judas cow' who replied, 'Oh, no,no,no.' He later learned that 3 dismissed employees who got their own lawyer were quietly paid 2 more years salary.
3) If you choose legalities, expect the matter to last approximately 2 years. Avoid hiring a large legal outfit as the partners instruct their staff to draw out the legal billable time nonsense.
4) Based on the precedent set by this case, you may not sue the Employer unless the Union does it on your behalf; an unlikely possibility considering that your success means someone else is laid off. If you can get the Union to permit you to handle matters at your own expense; you might be better off but realize that you could be carrying the costs of not only your legal counsel but that of the Employer.
5) Should the Union refuse you permission to sue the Employer at your own expense, you may lay a Section 12 complaint ($100 fee) with the B.C. Labour Board. The Barbara Parkinson ruling B117/2002 in the Employee's Case is germain here as no hearing was held in the Employee's Case due solely to the fact from the Union factum, the Board accepted the fact that the Union had done nothing wrong (which doesn't include whether they did anything right). It's a specious argument at best and has kept me at bay in B.C. courts for the last 12 years where no compensation (includes pension rights) has been paid.
6) While contesting a lay-off, you should be retained on salary as per the collective bargaining rules. The precedent from the Employee's Case has displaced that rule and now pay may be curtailed abruptly.
7) Trying to go to court from a Labour Board Decision without proof of a fraud is doomed. As the Labour Board did not have a hearing in the Employee's Case, my accusations of fraud were still-born even though the original arbitration had been quashed.
8) If you are with me so far, you are a brave individual indeed. Close to 90% of civil cases are settled out of court which is what you are aiming for. Do not expect to get your job back. The Supreme Court of Canada in 2004 rejected my bid (85% of civil actions are rejected without any hearing) to receive compensation under the 'ultimate remedy' provisions of the collective bargaining rules (money must change hands) so you can see how my efforts have screwed up the chances of all union employees...although I keep on trying and, yes, getting dunned for all legal costs. That's how the Justice System drives litigants out of the courts amid too many tricks to enumerate here. (SEE web www.employeescasecanada.com) Hence your best chance is with an outside arrangement. That way the Union and Justice System and Government is kept happy...and they are the big boys while you are an insignificant little fish.
9) Do not get carried away with colleague support which can expect to evaporate over the summer months and be replaced with a new vigour come September 1 sans your case. The authorities count on it.
10) If you have a 'dutch uncle' to hold your hand (sorry, not me) during your dark days to listen to your anxieties, you are a very lucky individual indeed. Otherwise, do what any war veteran does; do not talk about it incessantly with family for they will not understand and only identify with the frustrtion. Be careful about venting your opinions on a web site (my site, while provocative, is carefully constructed) remembering that you do not need any side issues, such as dismissed former Ottawa U. Professor, Denis Rancourt, who is the target of a civil action for labeling a staff member as a 'House Negro'. Walking out of a 'kangaroo court' may make for a salacious news story but keep in mind that he is fully responsible for the outcome of that jury trial.
11) Good luck in your efforts for it is possible, in ways that you never imagined, for there to be a silver lining in your 'demise'. But to hang in there requires resilience, good luck, a pile of money, and an ability to think on your feet (a rare attribute) and the necessary imagination to think outside the box. If you are a part of that less than 5% of the population; then the Old Boys Club will fear you. Fearful organizations make mistakes and that is where, as the little guy, you can come in for a pay day although winning the lottery might be a better bet.
12) A winning attitude here is the one which says that while my points may be of interest, they will not make any difference to the course you choose.
P.S. SUPPORT 'ANTI-JUDGE' DAY EVERY JULY 1 (CANADA'S BIRTHDAY) and
support the erection of a statue on Parliament Hill to 'THE OUTLAWED CANADIAN' complete with a blank picket board for Canadians to post their failed petitions (a combination of the 'wailing wall' in Jerusalem - which I have seen - and a Viet Nam Wall in Washington - which I haven't. Canadians must acknowledge that they have lost their government, their courts and (anti-employee) media due to the 29 year unresolved Employee's Case involving, as it does, systematic judicial abuse before any efforts to reclaim our democracy is possible. Cleaning out that Augean stable with a diverted river looks easy in comparison.
P.P.S. All Union employees in Canada should wear this placard: PREMIER CHRISTY CLARKE / COME CLEAN ON/ www.employeescasecanada.com