The President of the BC Teachers’ Federation says he’s trying to stay optimistic that schools will be open again in September but after today Jim Iker says it’s tough.
“Well it’s surprising that they seem to be putting more energy into prolonging their lockout rather than agreeing to mediation so we can get a deal this summer.”
Iker says he’s still holding out hope for mediation.
“I’ve always said as long as both sides are talking that’s a good sign and what we need to do is get government to agree go into mediation we know Justice Kelleher has dates available in August.”
Iker says it doesn’t give parents, teachers and kids much optimism.
“It’s unfortunate that they made an announcement that indicates schools will not open in September rather than making an announcement that will ensure we can get a negotiated settlement by going back to the bargaining table.”
The chair of the Vancouver School Board says parents want their kids in school in September not daycare handouts from the province.
Patti Bacchus says this might just be a bargaining tactic from the province to put pressure on striking teachers.
Bacchus says Boards of Education might lose out if the savings goes to offset parent’s daycare costs.
“We have been advised that we get about 20% of any savings. There would be some surplus that has built up. Ideally any money in the education budget, in my opinion, should go into the education system. There is a lot of need there. It might help to go toward the final settlement but i certainly sympathize parents are in a tough spot.”
Bacchus says parents would rather know their children will be in school this September.
“That kind of funding parent might help some parents with child care costs but what I am hearing from parents is it is hard to even find the child care. That may offset some of the pain for some but I would like to see the focus on getting this resolved and getting back in school and any savings going back into the education system.”
She says the province should be focusing on getting a deal done before September.
However Bacchus adds she has not seen much action from the two sides to get back to the bargaining table over the summer.