NEWS
08/26/2014 10:31 EDT | Updated 10/26/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. teachers' strike: Peter Fassbender to meet with Jim Iker Wednesday

The B.C. government has confirmed that Education Minister Peter Fassbender and chief government negotiator Peter Cameron will meet in Victoria with teachers' union president Jim Iker on Wednesday.

The meeting comes after a summer of limited discussions and media blackouts, and could give renewed hope to parents expecting the ongoing teachers' strike to delay the start of the new school year.

The province's 40,000 public school teachers began the strike two weeks before the end of the school year, calling for higher wages and more control over class sizes and composition.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation president got a standing ovation at the union's summer leadership conference on Sunday, when he said teachers are ready to enter into mediation, if only the province would agree to make it happen.

"My message to the minister today and his rhetoric of 24/7 bargaining is let's see it. How about tomorrow? Let's get this deal done," Iker said on Sunday.

"The holdout has been government and their unwillingness to enter full-scale mediation and compromise...We're ready to negotiate anytime. We've been ready all summer."

Professional mediator Vince Ready agreed earlier this month to work with the groups, but also said he can't start working until teachers and government are closer to agreeing to terms.

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