Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

High-profile mediator declines request to help settle B.C. teachers strike

VANCOUVER - Educators huddled Sunday night, trying to come up with a plan B after a veteran mediator declined their invitation to help resolve British Columbia's teachers strike.

B.C. Teachers Federation spokesman Rich Overgaard says Vince Ready didn't have time in his busy schedule to mediate the dispute that has closed classrooms to more than half a million students across the province.

Ready is one of Canada's top labour troubleshooters, and the more than 40,000-member teachers union had said it felt he could be the key to moving things forward.

The strike began last week, and though there's still no end in sight, classes are due to wind down this week in most schools.

The province's labour board has also ruled the teachers must still grade high school exams that are critical for students entering post-secondary schools.

What will happen to summer classes, however, remains unclear.

The dispute suffered a set back Friday when the independent facilitator who spent more than a year trying to broker a deal resigned.

Mark Brown quit after the B.C. Teachers Federation demanded mediation.

Pay, class size and support staff are the main problem areas in the negotiations.

Peter Cameron, the government's chief negotiator, has said mediation will be pointless unless the teachers lower their wage demands.

He contends the teachers are seeking wage and benefit improvements that would amount to a 14.5 per cent hike over five years — demands he dismisses as being outside the "affordability zone."

The union says it's asking for an eight per cent salary boost, plus a $5,000 signing bonus and a $225 million fund to cover additional costs for things such as preparation time and improved health benefits.

The government has offered a seven per cent wage increase and $1,200 signing bonus over six years, arguing the union is asking for twice the compensation of other public-sector settlements.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media