News Local

BCTF asks for mediation

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Schools are expected to still be on strike in September. (REUTERS)

Schools are expected to still be on strike in September. (REUTERS)

The head of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to enter mediation with the provincial government Monday to restart negotiations as summer nears to a close.

President Jim Iker said he’s ready to negotiate “anytime” at the union’s summer conference in Kamloops.

“My message to Peter Fassbender today and his rhetoric of 24/7 bargaining, let’s see it. How about tomorrow? Let’s get this deal done,” Iker said.

Fassbender was unavailable for comment Sunday.

Iker, meanwhile, asked teachers to target Liberal MLAs and convince them to support the teachers rather than Fassbender or Premier Christy Clark.

“Ask them why their government is not negotiating and get them questioning the spin coming from the minister and premier,” he said.

Iker said pickets will be in “full force” this week. He blamed the holdup in negotiations to government’s “unwillingness to enter full-scale mediation and compromise.”

In an earlier joint statement, both sides said mediator Vince Ready will be monitoring the situation and will step in when he believes mediation would be “productive.”


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