Head of B.C. teachers' union calls for mediation

Teachers aim to end ongoing strike before school year starts next week

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The head of the BC Teachers’ Federation is urging government to enter mediation with teachers in order to end an ongoing strike before the school year starts next week.

At the union’s summer conference in Kamloops, Jim Iker said talks have not moved forward because government has been unwilling to enter mediation with veteran mediator Vince Ready.

Iker says picket lines will be up in full force across the province starting Monday in order to put pressure on the province.

When asked for comment, the Ministry of Education referred to a joint statement between public school employers and the BC Teachers’ Federation.

The Aug. 14 statement says Ready is monitoring the situation and full mediation may begin when he believes it will be productive.

The province’s 40,000 public school teachers began the strike two weeks before the end of the school year, calling for higher wages, improved class sizes and composition.

B.C.’s finance minister has said the province will give parents with young children $40 a day for child care if the strike extends into the school year.

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