NEWS

B.C. teachers' strike: Tentative deal reached

09/16/2014 07:37 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:52 EDT
A tentative deal has been reached in the months-long B.C. public school teachers' strike, but the final details still have to be worked out, mediator Vince Ready confirmed this morning.

The breakthrough in negotiations between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association comes on the fourth day of marathon talks at a Richmond, B.C., hotel.

No details about the deal will be released before it is finalized, said Ready, who emerged from the hotel to confirm the tentative deal shortly after 4 a.m. PT.

The province's 41,000 public school teachers will also have to vote on the deal. A date for a ratification vote has not yet been announced.

The BCTF first tweeted that a tentative deal had been reached around 3:50 a.m. A few minutes later, Ready told reporters both sides would be meeting again later Tuesday to finalize the details. 

"Everybody is a bit tired now," said Ready, who is scheduled to take a flight later Tuesday to settle a separate dispute in Ontario.

Marathon negotiation sessions

Negotiations began Saturday under increasing pressure from the public and suggestions by the government that legislating an end to the dispute was an option.

Last Wednesday, the BCTF voted overwhelmingly to end their dispute — which dates back to before the end of the last school year — if the government agreed to binding arbitration, something the province had firmly rejected.

Teachers launched full-scale job action two weeks before the summer break and students have missed more than two weeks of the 2014-2015 school year.

The federation and B.C. government — no matter what political affiliation — have a decades-long history of animosity and difficult labour disputes.

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