A joint statement issued on Thursday by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the BC Public School Employers Association indicates that there is some hope that the teachers’ dispute will be resolved before the new school year starts.
The joint statement reads: “Early in the summer, the parties met for exploratory discussions with Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher. BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker and Peter Cameron, BCPSEA chief negotiator, want to express their appreciation to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of BC for making Justice Kelleher available to assist the parties. They also want to express their appreciation to Justice Kelleher for his assistance, particularly given his demanding schedule.
“Over the summer, discussions continued between Jim Iker and Peter Cameron, leading up to last Friday’s face-to-face session of the two bargaining teams.
“Following that session, at the request of the parties, Vince Ready indicated his availability this week and later in August. The parties then asked Mr. Ready to engage with them in exploratory talks. Following telephone contact with the parties last weekend, Mr. Ready met separately with the parties on August 13. Mr. Ready agreed to monitor the situation, and to resume exploratory talks or commence full mediation when he believes it will be productive.
“The parties agreed that they will not engage in public discussion pending further discussions with Mr. Ready.”