Parents

Strike talks stuck

The start of school is stalled for B.C. public students. Bulkley Valley and Coast Mountain districts ask parents to find child care

The mediator walked out on the mediation. Labour mediator Vince Ready saw no possible solution Saturday night with the provincial government and B.C. Teachers’ Federation positions too far apart.

There was no indication as to when talks might resume. That means a prolonged cancellation of classes is possible.

Education minister Peter Fassbender and Premier Christy Clark traded barbs with BCTF president Jim Iker as each tried making their case.

Iker released a statement that accused the province of refusing to budge a penny after the union representing public teachers gave up $125 million in its proposal.

“These two days should have been productive and brought the two sides closer together. Instead, the government put up new roadblocks and refused to compromise,” said Iker’s statement, which also called people to contact their MLAs.

The BCTF has also planned rallies at MLA offices, including a Tuesday rally at Fassbender’s office. School was supposed to start Tuesday.

Fassbender’s statement shortly after Ready left the two sides to their own devices was vague on when a solution might be possible.

“I wish I could tell British Columbians when students will be back in school. But right now, I don’t see any quick or easy solutions.

“Everything we’ve tried to do was to have schools open on time and to reach a settlement. Unfortunately, the BCTF leadership has stubbornly refused every effort to reach a fair deal and they have even refused to give teachers a chance to vote on suspending the pickets while an agreement is mediated,” said Fassbender.

Bulkley Valley and Coast Mountains school districts asked parents to not send children to schools with only administration staff not being sufficient for supervision.

A website has been set up by the province for parents to sign up and receive $40 per day for each student 12 years and under to help with childcare needs during the strike. The website says caregivers would be paid by cheque about 30 days after the month that the labour disruption ends. A child does not have to be enrolled at a daycare to be eligible. The website can be found at bcparentinfo.ca.

The province said it would not legislate teachers back to work. The BCTF has not answered calls to work during negotiations.

“Instead, the BCTF is sticking to its strike and demanding twice as much money as everyone else in the public service has received,” said Clark on her Facebook page Sunday.

The sides are stuck on funding related to class sizes and composition, and wages.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Orphaned bear cub named after Snowbirds Capt. Jenn Casey to be cared for in Smithers

Neighbours assist in capture of Tappen Triplets now in care of Northern Lights Wildlife Society

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read