School District 57 schools will be closed Tuesday – what would have been the first day of school for the 2014-15 year.
Mediator Vince Ready booked out of contract talks between the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and the province Saturday, saying the sides were too far apart for mediation.
“The BCTF team tried to kick start meaningful talks by dropping some proposals entirely and reducing others substantially, said BCTF president Jim Iker. “In total, our moves today reduced our package by $125 million.
“… Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said many times: ‘Let the courts decide.’ And we agree entirely with that approach. But, in reality, what they are insisting upon at the table would undo any future court decision.
Iker is now calling for a meeting with Premier Christy Clark to try and end if impasse.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender said he is very disappointed by the collapse in talks and suggested the BCTF wants government to legislate it back to work.
“Negotiating a settlement requires union leaders to stand in front of their members and explain what has been achieved at the bargaining table,” Fassbender said. “I worry the BCTF leadership is actually counting on government to legislate an end to this strike so they can avoid having a difficult conversation with their members about what is realistic and achievable.
“Legislating an end to the dispute is the wrong thing to do. It would only keep us on the same dysfunctional treadmill that we’ve been on for the past 30 years. As hard as it is, we have to stand firm and hope the union leadership comes around to getting serious about negotiating a fair agreement.”
School District 57 has confirmed there will be no school tomorrow and likely not for the rest of the week.