Talks between the province and the BC Teachers Federation broke off around midnight Sunday.
The negotiations have been under a media blackout, but BCTF President Jim Iker held a press conference on Monday morning. Iker is talking tough after what he’s calling a “squandered opportunity” to get a contract during weekend negotiations. Iker says they came to the table with a lower wage demand, plans for a special fund to deal with class size and composition and other new ideas.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Peter Fassbender offered up this statement about the weekend talks: “The bargaining teams worked hard through the weekend. When negotiations adjourned late last night it was with the expectation that talks would continue today. Specifics around proposals will be shared when appropriate, but I can say that BCPSEA tabled a significant, affordable and creative set of proposals to help end the stalemate, get kids back in school and create long-term stability for parents, students and teachers. BCPSEA worked hard to put its best foot forward. They tabled a comprehensive settlement that includes an improved wage offer and commits to realistic and flexible solutions to address class composition.”
There are no classes Monday, as teachers hold “study sessions”, and unless there’s a deal, a full-scale strike will begin Tuesday.
Nanaimo teachers are planning a couple of demonstrations Monday: One on Bowen Road from 8:00-9:30am, ahead of their study session, and they’re also planning another rally later in the day.
Sunshine Coast teachers say they’ll be holding a rally at 11:00am Monday outside Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons.