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Summer school faces picket lines: BCTF

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Vancouver teachers on the picket line. (REUTERS)

Vancouver teachers on the picket line. (REUTERS)

The head of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation vowed summer schools will be behind picket lines next month unless a deal with the province is achieved by June 30.

“If the government does not come forward with new funding ... teachers are prepared to extend the strike into summer and picket out summer school,” said union president Jim Iker.

“It’s a decision that we didn’t take lightly.”

Iker said all union members will be on strike, but it’s expected only schools that host summer classes would be picketed.

The proclamation on Wednesday comes as the government submitted an essential-services application at Labour Relations Board for summer school, year-round schools — those not on the regular calendar system — and teachers serving youth in court-ordered custody.

No hearing date has been set, according to the LRB.

But if the application is approved, it would mean teachers would be unable to strike for summer school remedial programs — for students who have failed high school courses.

Iker, who said his team was reviewing the application, also continued his call for mediation so both sides can “find a way forward.”

Minister Peter Fassbender said in a statement mediation could help, but “will not shake loose hundreds of millions of dollars” the province doesn’t have.

Earlier this week, it was reported a mediator both sides recently agreed to call up has turned down the job offer.


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