B.C. Teachers Federation spokesman Rich Overgaard says Vince Ready did not have time in his schedule to mediate the dispute between educators and the government.
Overgaard says educators will meet tonight to discuss other possible mediators.
Ready is widely considered one of Canada's top labour troubleshooters and the teachers union put his name forward as someone who could move things forward.
Pay and class size are among the sticking points in the dispute.
The strike started last week and meant no class for more than a half million students.
Classes were due to wind down this week in most schools in B.C.
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