Next month teachers will decide what their strike action may look like come September.
“The BCTF [B.C. Teachers’ Federation] executive committee will be making resolutions to the summer representative assembly in the latter part of August regarding what kind of action to take in September if there is no agreement,” Sunshine Coast Teachers’ Association president Louise Herle told Coast Reporter this week.
“Teachers remain determined, united and strong. I am hopeful that government will agree to mediation so we can have an agreement by September. Teachers want to be back in the classroom on Sept. 2 and normally start work the last few weeks of August to prepare for classes and new students.”
Both teachers and the provincial government say they want a negotiated settlement; however, the government is not willing to offer more money to teachers than what union employees in other sectors have been offered, and teachers aren’t willing to settle for less.
Teachers called for mediator Vince Ready to step in and help end the dispute in June; however, he was unable to commit. Since then bargaining has slowed to a standstill.
Recently, however, BCTF president Jim Iker has been meeting with B.C. Public School Employers’ Association (BSPSEA) lead negotiator Peter Cameron, Herle said.
She noted the two have been talking about “how to move the process forward.”
Some have hypothesized government would legislate teachers back to work in September if a deal is not reached by then, but Finance Minister Mike de Jong said last week government likely won’t “rush into the legislative assembly to impose an agreement.”
If a deal is not reached by the end of August, parents of students on the Coast can expect contact from School District No. 46 about any changes to the upcoming school year.
© Coast Reporter