Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender

Premier Clark praises ‘historic’ teacher deal (VIDEO)

B.C. schools could be open by Monday, Education Minister Peter Fassbender says strike days will be made up

B.C.’s striking teachers will vote this week on a tentative settlement with the provincial government that Premier Christy Clark says is a “historic” achievement.

Mediator Vince Ready announced the breakthrough early Tuesday morning, after five days of talks at a Richmond hotel. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the province’s negotiators agreed to withhold details until a final document is presented to present to BCTF members and school trustees.

With a ratification vote of 40,000 union members expected to be held Thursday, the province’s 60 school districts are attempting to return to regular classes next week after five weeks of full-scale strike action that began last June.

Clark said if the vote passes, schools will be up and running again as early as Monday. She thanked parents for their patience as the strike dragged into the fall, saying a negotiated settlement was the only way to improve a relationship that has been dysfunctional for 30 years.

“We’ll have five years to talk about the things that really matter, and that’s children in classrooms,” Clark said in Vancouver Tuesday.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said a plan is being developed to make up missed instructional days, which could involve rescheduling Christmas holidays, spring break or adding days to the end of the school year. Every student’s education will be “kept whole,” particularly senior high school students looking ahead to post-secondary studies, he said.

The agreement includes money to settle thousands of union grievances accumulated since the province removed class size and teacher staffing levels from the teacher contract in 2002.

Clark said the deal includes increased funds to hire more teachers to address class size and special needs support. It is for six years, retroactive to the expiry of the earlier agreement last spring, with raises averaging just over one per cent per year.

The government’s appeal of a court decision ordering the return of 2002 class size provisions will will continue, Clark said.

VIDEO: Premier Clark, Peter Fassbender on “historic” deal with teachers

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

Semiahmoo Peninsula singer joins voices with vocal partner to form virtual choir

Singers share sacred choral piece online as antidote for dark times

‘The exposure is great’: Why this photo is a contest-winner for one Surrey adventurer

Nature photographer Eduardo Baena spends a lot of time in the wild

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read