Update on Bargaining

Minister of Education Honourable Rob Fleming issued the following statement:

“Today veteran labour mediator Vince Ready determined that the parties are too far apart for mediation at this time.

“I’m very disappointed for students, parents and teachers. What should be a time of excitement and anticipation will instead be marked by frustration and uncertainty.

“I wish I could tell British Columbians when students will be back in school. But right now, I don’t see any quick or easy solutions.

“Everything we’ve tried to do was to have schools open on time and to reach a settlement. Unfortunately, the BCTF leadership has stubbornly refused every effort to reach a fair deal and they have even refused to give teachers a chance to vote on suspending the pickets while an agreement is mediated.

“Negotiating a settlement requires union leaders to stand in front of their members and explain what has been achieved at the bargaining table. I worry the BCTF leadership is actually counting on government to legislate an end to this strike so they can avoid having a difficult conversation with their members about what is realistic and achievable.