British Columbia Teachers' Federation, et al. v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Association, et al.

(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)




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Labour relations - Collective agreements - Pregnancy benefits - Parental benefits - Supplemental employment benefits - Whether the arbitrator committed a reviewable error in his interpretation of the collective agreement - Whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that pregnancy leave and benefits and parental leave and benefits have the same purpose - Whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that birth mothers are not subject to discrimination because they receive “equal” treatment in the provision of supplementary employment benefits under the collective agreement.

The collective agreement provides birth mothers, birth fathers and adoptive parents with 95 percent of their salary for the two-week unpaid waiting period for EI benefits, and 70 percent of the difference between EI benefits and their salary for an additional 15 weeks. Birth mothers could elect to take their supplemental employment benefits with their maternity leave or their parental leave. The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and the Surrey Teachers’ Association filed a grievance alleging that the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association and the Board of Education of School District No 36 (Surrey) had failed to provide supplemental employment benefits to birth mothers in relation to both maternity leave and parental leave. They alleged that this failure was discriminatory conduct contrary to the Human Rights Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210, and s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lower Court Rulings

November 9, 2012
British Columbia Labour Relations Board

Grievance allowed
September 20, 2013
Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver)

2013 BCCA 405, CA040450
Appeal allowed; Arbitrator’s decision set aside; grievance dismissed