Court Rules McNeil Out of Bounds with Bill 75
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice John A. Keith ruled Liberal Bill 75 unconstitutional as part of a decision released Tuesday, June 14.
Bill 75 was used by Stephen McNeil to end collective bargaining with the province’s teachers. The law, passed by the Liberals, stripped teachers of their right to strike and forced a four-year unnegotiated collective agreement on them.
The result was the province’s first-ever teacher strike in the history of Nova Scotia. The strike lasted until the law was proclaimed and teachers were forced back into the classrooms.
Justice Keith wrote, “At best, Bill 75 was an overzealous but misguided attempt at fiscal responsibility. At worst, Bill 75 was punitive or a vengeful attempt to gain some unrelated, collateral benefit related to ongoing negotiations with other public sector unions at the expense of the NSTU.”
The finding that the law is unconstitutional is a poor reflection of a Premier and government who took a strange pride in picking fights with teachers, nurses, health care workers, and other public servants.
As you are aware the NSGEU, in collaboration with the Council of Unions and the NSFL, have taken legal action against another McNeil law aimed at breaking the spirit of working people and their unions: Bill 148.
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling on Bill 75 does not have direct consequences on the court challenge of Bill 148. However, there are some lessons to be learned from the success of the teacher’s case.
The NSGEU will be meeting with our legal counsel and the NSFL to discuss and determine the next steps with the legal challenge to Bill 148. Those decisions will be communicated to you when they are made.
You can find the decision here: https://decisia.lexum.com/nsc/nssc/en/item/521124/index.do?fbclid=IwAR3ys0CrgY7P-8SG-nKW8S31Tz2IwCIkuTezvYW7VoH2EYVpPncJIpSTyCI
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