Vince Ready declines request to mediate B.C. teachers dispute
According to several media reports, veteran labour mediator Vince Ready will not step into the negotiations between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association.
This likely means teachers will be off the job on Monday (June 23) to start the second week of their full-scale strike.
The B.C. government and the teachers' union both asked him if he would be willing to serve as a mediator in the dispute.
Ready is reportedly too busy to do that right now.
Both sides are still quite far apart in their negotiations.
The union is seeking an eight percent raise and a signing bonus and a five-year contract.
In addition, the BCTF wants a $225-million annual workload fund to address staffing ratios, class composition, and class size pending the outcome of the B.C. government's appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court ruling in the teachers' favour.
The union has also asked for a $225-million "retroactive grievances fund", which is in response to Justice Susan Griffin's court decision that found the B.C. government had violated teachers' constitutional rights by shredding a contract in 2002.
The employer has offered a $1,200 signing bonus if a deal is reached by June 30, as well as a seven percent hike over six years.