Teacher talks to resume Aug. 8

With strike pay headed to parents and rec centres gearing up for fall programs, BCTF is going back to the table

BCTF president Jim Iker is heading back to the table with school district negotiators 'to seek a way forward for resolving the current bargaining dispute before the start of the new school year

Negotiators for school districts and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation are getting together Aug. 8 to seek a settlement in their long-running dispute before school starts up in September.

A brief statement from the BCTF announced the resumption of talks Friday afternoon, a day after the B.C. government announced a contingency plan to pay strike savings to parents of younger students if the strike keeps schools shut in September.

The government saves an estimated $12 million a day when teachers go without paycheques, enough to pay parents $40 per missed school day for each child under 13 in public school.

Recreation centres are preparing to extend summer camp and activity programs into the fall.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced the contingency plan Thursday after several weeks without movement in the long-running dispute that shut schools for the last two weeks of June.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said the union’s demands are far beyond settlements with other public sector unions, particularly on benefit improvements.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association estimates the union’s benefit demands alone represent an additional $225 million a year. Those include increases to preparation time, pregnancy and parental leave, extended health and dental and substitute teacher compensation.


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