Thursday, August 21, 2014

High-priced legal counsel tackles festering teachers

Peter Fassbender
"Education Minister Peter Fassbender is disobeying the media blackout, says the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. Fassbender has been talking to media outlets this week about aspects of the ongoing teachers’ strike.

“It is unhelpful that the minister is again playing politics in the media instead of allowing bargaining to resume behind closed doors,” union president Jim Iker said Thursday in a statement. “It shows a lack of integrity and highlights the government’s ongoing attempts to derail meaningful negotiations."

February 27, 2014

Howard Shapray
Toward the end of question period in the legislature earlier this week, Opposition education critic Rob Fleming took note of a change in the government legal team in the long running court battle with the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

The Liberals claimed it wasn't costing all that much money to pursue the case because they were relying on staff lawyers from the ministry of the attorney general who would be paid anyway.
After losing twice in front of the same judge in B.C. Supreme Court, the Liberals retained outside legal help for what was expected to be a tough fight to turn things around at the Court of Appeal.

The new member of the government legal team is Vancouver lawyer Howard Shapray.
The new legal lineup marked its first success Wednesday, when the Court of Appeal ruled in the government's favour on two preliminary matters regarding the next phase of the case.

The Liberals had asked the court to stay implementation of B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin's decision, rolling back provisions in the teachers contract to where they stood a dozen years ago.