It’s decision day in B.C. teachers’ labour dispute

Results of the vote are expected to be released tonight

VANCOUVER – More than half a million public-school students in British Columbia should know by the end of the day whether they’ll be heading back to class as early as next week.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation is asking its more than 40,000 members to ratify a new collective agreement with the provincial government and is expected to release the results of the vote tonight.

Study sessions will be held this morning for members so they can learn more about the proposed six-year deal and ask questions.

The proposed contract includes a 7.25 per cent salary increase, improvements in extended health benefits and the teaching-on-call rate, an education fund to address class size and composition issues, and money to address retroactive grievances.

Victoria teacher Tara Ehrcke says she’s very disappointed and if the contract is ratified teachers will be saying Yes to conditions that aren’t good enough.

Labour lawyer Ritu Mahil says if the union’s leaders think it’s a good deal then members should take that recommendation seriously, and the deal was probably the best they could get at the time.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.