UPDATED: Vince Ready has told CKNW he will meet with both sides in the dispute on Thursday afternoon in Richmond, offering no further comment than to say it would be for exploratory talks.
BCTF president Jim Iker, Education Minister Peter Fassbender and government negotiator Peter Cameron have spent about 90 minutes meeting at the BC legislature in Victoria this afternoon, but they’ve emerged without a new contract.
Fassbender has proposed a two-week cooling off period to allow for mediated talks, as long as picket lines come down.
“That is why I called this meeting. That is the proposal I put on the table and that is what I hope we could do in order to get on with it.”
Iker won’t say if teachers will drop their picket signs, but he’s ready for mediation to start immediately.
“It’s still going to be up to Vince Ready whether he thinks that the parties are willing to move closer together and we leave that decision to Vince Ready.”
Fassbender has also asked the union to “set aside the matter of potential grievances stemming from Justice Griffin’s decision,” which are nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, as the appeals process takes place.
Both sides say it is possible for classes to start Sept. 2, but many issues remain unresolved.
Mother of two Rebecca Anderson says she’s anything but surprised at the lack of a deal after such publicity around the meeting.
“It seems the divide is just too great. I have a feeling we are kind of in it for the duration of until such time as I guess they decide to legislate the teachers back to work.”
Anderson says she still doesn’t know how she will afford child care next week, despite the $40 daily subsidy offered by the government.