NEWS

B.C. teachers begin voting on tentative agreement

09/17/2014 08:10 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:57 EDT
While most B.C. teachers vote on a tentative agreement Thursday, members of the Vancouver Teacher's Federation took advantage of an advance poll to cast their ballots Wednesday.

CBC News talked to a few teachers after they voted and most said, 'yes'.

"I voted, 'yes'," said Dennis Wong. "It's just time to get back in the classroom. You know, you always want more, but I think it's the best we could have done, under the circumstances."

Asked whether it was worth it, Wong says the strike helped educate the public on issues such as class size and how many students with special needs are in those classrooms.

Grade 2-3 teacher, Maureen Burns, voted in favour of the deal because, "it was the first negotiated settlement we have had since I've been a teacher and we want to get back to work."

However, Burns lamented the length of negotiations saying, "I think they should have sorted it out in August."

Teachers with kids of their own also had concerns about the strike dragging on. Tim Schouls' wife is a teacher who works with blind students.

"We were in an impossible situation at this point. It's been 14 weeks since my son has been in school and so we are desperate to get him back. He needs the stimulation. There is a point at which where the exhaustion of the process itself leads you, I think, to capitulate."

Some voted in favour of the agreement, but with reluctance. Josh Fairey is a high school english teacher who said a big part of him wanted to vote 'no'.

"I am concerned that an overwhelming 'no' vote would perhaps turn public opinion against us even though I think that it's a fairly crappy deal. I think we fought hard for not nearly as much as we should be getting, or not as much as we deserved."

The results of the vote will available Thursday night.

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