The president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation says there's still time to avert a provincewide strike scheduled for Tuesday (June 17).
At a news conference this morning, Jim Iker urged Premier Christy Clark "to come to the table with new funding, an open mind, and the flexibility needed to reach a fair settlement that will support teachers and students".
In a statement issued today, the union characterized the pending strike as a "full withdrawal of services".
Teachers were required to give 72 hours' strike notice under the Labour Code, which is why this job action can't take place until next week.
If the teachers' union and the employers' bargaining agent don't reach an agreement before then, today is the last day of school in 18 school districts, including those in Coquitlam, Surrey, and Langley in the Lower Mainland.
That's because they're on the list of areas where teachers will be withdrawing services on Friday (June 13).
Monday (June 16) has been designated as a study session day across B.C., which means public schools will be closed.
The BCTF is upset about the B.C. Public School Employers' Association partial lockout and 10 percent pay deductions for what it calls "work not completed".
Meanwhile, the Labour Relations Board has issued an order that invigilation of Grades 10 to 12 provincial exams is an essential service. This means that the union cannot withdraw this as part of its job action.
The essential-services designation also applies to compilation and submission of final grades for Grade 12 students as well as all "psychometric or other testing" to determine if a student should be designated as having special needs.
In addition, the LRB ruled that providing information to discontinue any designation for students in the ministry's category H (intensive behaviour or serious mental illness) is also an essential service.