British Columbia

Glen Hansman elected B.C. Teachers' Federation president

Vancouver elementary school teacher Glen Hansman takes the helm of the B.C. Teachers' Federation, in what promises to be a busy year.

Vancouver elementary school teacher picked to head up BCTF in an uncontested election

Glen Hansman, the president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation, says teachers should be part of the consultation. (CBC)

The B.C. Teachers' Federation has elected a Vancouver elementary school teacher, Glen Hansman, as its new president in an uncontested election.

Hansman was previously a vice president with the BCTF, which is a full-time position, and has also been president of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association.

He'll take over from current president Jim Iker on July 1, after the end of Iker's third term.

The teachers have a contract in place until 2019, but the coming year still promises to be a busy one for the union, with a long-running court case against the B.C. government going to the Supreme Court of Canada in November and the next B.C. election in May.

"No matter who is in government after May [2017] we're going to have to keep the pressure on," said Hansman to a cheering crowd at the BCTF's annual general meeting.

Supreme Court ruling expected

Hansman said a lot hangs on the Supreme Court of Canada decision which the teachers hope will restore language about class size, composition, and specialist teachers' ratios to their contract.

The dispute dates back to 2002, when current Premier Christy Clark was education minister, and the B.C. government stripped those bargaining rights from the union contract.

Teachers fought and won a legal battle over the 2002 changes, but the government introduced similar legislation in 2012's Bill 22, which is the subject of the Supreme Court case.

"We're eagerly awaiting the outcome of that. It's been a long road since 14 years ago when the legislation came down," said Hansman.

"Working and learning conditions [are still not] what they should be. Service levels for kids [are not] what they ought to be. And a lot of that is driven by the court case."

The Supreme Court hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 10, with a decision coming in the months after, said Hansman.

Glen Hansman talking to CBC Radio's Rick Cluff about sexual health education on The Early Edition last year. (Glen Hansman/Tumblr)

With files from the CBC's Stephanie Mercier


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