Under section 72 of the Labour Relations Code, the provision of educational programs in British Columbia is an essential service. This means that employees or employers in an essential service industry are entitled to engage in strike or lockout activity; however, the union and employer are required to maintain certain essential services to the public during that time.
Under the Labour Relations Code, the Minister of Labour has the right to direct the Labour Relations Board to designate essential services in the event that job action threatens educational programs. The parties have been directed to commence the essential service designation process.
This section of the website provides information as to the requirements for legal strike activity, the essential services process and other relevant updates.
Our Essential Services bulletins are available here.
Please refer to the following videos for information about a Phase 1 job action and how it relates to the beginning of the school year. You will find additional information relating to the topics in each video in the form of a FAQ.
The video directly below provides concise overview of public school employer-public school teacher collective bargaining in British Columbia and the determination of essential services.
Watch this video for a discussion of what essential services are and what duties teachers are not required to perform during Phase One job action. For more information relating to this topic, please see the FAQ's
Find out more about school start-up procedures including statutory class size activities and class/program composition and formation activities. For additional information relating to this topic, please see the FAQ's.
The following video provides a discussion of the effects of the teachers' Phase One job action on unionized support staff; and what happens if there are disagreements on teachers' roles during Phase One. For more information relating to this topic, please see the FAQ's.