News

B.C. government, teachers approach mediator

Teachers march in Chilliwack last week, declared by the union as a
Teachers march in Chilliwack last week, declared by the union as a 'study session' as they embarked on a full-scale strike.
— image credit: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government is hoping to hear back from a veteran mediator this weekend to find out if he is available to help end the province's teachers strike.

Peter Cameron, the province's chief negotiator, says the two sides are asking if Vince Ready may be available for a conference call which could come as early as Sunday, but Ready has yet to respond.

Ready is widely considered one of Canada's top labour troubleshooters and the teachers union floated his name on Friday as someone who could move things forward.

But Cameron cautions if the union doesn't change its monetary demands mediation would be pointless.

The government says teachers want wage increases and benefits amounting to a 14.5 per cent hike, but educators say they only want an eight per cent salary boost and a signing bonus.

Teachers also want the province to set aside $225 million every year for a fund to hire teachers.

Efforts to settle the dispute ran onto the rocks on Friday when the independent facilitator who spent more than a year trying to broker a deal resigned.

Mark Brown stepped aside after the B.C. Teachers Federation demanded mediation.

The strike shut down public schools last week, affecting half a million students.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Okanagan Indian Band to municipalities buying CN Rail line: Buyer beware
 
“Substantially started” decision for Jumbo Glacier Resort delayed
 
Stolen truck collides with power pole
Cooke siblings travelling to Europe to compete in Freeride World Tour
 
Tour de White Rock changes gears, drops hill climb
 
Police seek machete-wielding attacker
Planned park-in on 72 Avenue cancelled
 
Penticton MLA gets promoted
 
Missing New West woman surfaces in Quebec