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Legal slap-down of BC Nurses raiding a ‘big win’ for labour

Legal slap-down of BC Nurses raiding a ‘big win’ for labour

BC Supreme Court ruling finds no merit in BCN arguments for targeting HSA, PEA jobs

BURNABY—A BC Supreme Court ruling to reject the BC Nurses’ request for a judicial review of earlier decisions dismissing their applications to raid other unions is an important victory for the labour movement, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees, B.C. Division.

In Friday’s ruling, BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Hinkson determined that the BCN had no grounds for a judicial review of the BC Labour Relations Board’s original and reconsideration decisions on its applications to raid bargaining unit positions held by the Health Sciences Association (HSA) and Professional Employees Association (PEA). The LRB vice-chair had found that the BCN’s seven applications for certification as the bargaining agent for psychologists and psychometrists represented by HSA and PEA were completely without merit.

By upholding the LRB decisions, Friday’s Supreme Court ruling pours cold water on the BCN’s attempts to chip away at existing bargaining units by targeting single classifications—a destructive practice that would have allowed the BCN to go after small groups rather than holding a larger raid to replace the incumbent union for all the members at a particular site. 

“The petitioner [BCN] has failed to persuade me that the decision of the vice-chair was patently unreasonable or that it was made due to any breach of natural justice or procedural fairness,” ruled Chief Justice Hinkson. “Its application for judicial review of the decision is therefore dismissed.”

CUPE was granted intervenor status in this case, sending a clear message to all parties that the judge’s decision would have broader consequences beyond the bargaining units in question. 

“This decision is an important victory for unions that value solidarity as a fundamental principle of the labour movement,” said CUPE BC President Paul Faoro.

“Although the leadership of the BCN appears to remain committed to continuing their efforts to divide the labour movement in our province—we know they continue to arm themselves for more raids—this decision at least puts their organizers on notice that they can expect resistance each and every time they engage in these hostile, unprincipled attacks on other unions.”

See the full decision here.

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