Teachers accuse B.C. union of antisemitism in human rights complaint

Lawsuit accuses union of 'erasure of Jewish and Zionist voices and opinions' at workplaces

Teachers accuse B.C. union of antisemitism in human rights complaint

A group of British Columbia teachers has launched a human rights complaint against their union, claiming that the labour group “has engaged in and enabled antisemitism,” according to a report.

This is because of the BC Teachers’ Federation’s (BCTF) “erasure of Jewish and Zionist voices and opinions” within the union and members’ workplaces, said Paul Pulver, who filed the case for the members BC Teachers Against Antisemitism, reported The Canadian Press (CP).

The union’s leadership caused “trauma and fear” among members who have been “intimidated and shamed” by colleagues, Pulver said.

He added that the union has “ostracized” the teachers because they’re Jewish or because they hold “currently unpopular views” about Jews, Israel and Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks.

In a statement issued June 7, BCTF noted: “Antisemitism has no place in our school communities. As a Federation, we are a social justice organization that is concerned with all forms of discrimination. Teachers are among those who are worried and facing rising antisemitism—we stand with them and will continue to stand up for their rights.”

In early February, 14 Jewish members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) filed human rights complaints against their union, claiming it has been “advancing an anti-Israel agenda and causing a culture of discrimination and harassment against Jewish PSAC members.”

Examples of antisemitism cited in human rights complaint

More than two dozen examples of antisemitism either caused or enabled by the BC Teachers’ Federation were detailed in the human rights complaint against the teachers’ union, said Pulver.

For example, the union’s president sent members anti-racism training materials that provided a link to material including a poster that said “Zionists F*ck Off,” according to the CP report posted on Global News.

Also, the union’s annual general meeting is said to have focused on “anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” voices. It also allegedly “excluded, bullied, silenced, and prevented” Jewish teachers from speaking out against “antisemitic motions” proposed at the meeting.

CP said it reached out to the union but it did not get a response to a request for a comment.

In June, the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission concluded that there was sufficient evidence to suggest a former Xerox Canada employee was discriminated against due to his race.

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