08/06/2014 02:54 EDT | Updated 10/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Five more B.C. school districts sign support workers' contracts

VICTORIA - Support workers at five B.C. school districts have ratified five-year contract agreements, bringing the number of newly-signed district agreements to 21.

The contracts in the districts of Central Okanagan, Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Cowichan Valley, Coast Mountains and Nisga'a will give workers a 5.5 per cent wage increase.

The deal will also allows for more compensation if the B.C. economy exceeds the annual forecasts set out by the Economic Forecast Council in the last four years of the agreement.

So far, 9,700 support workers have ratified agreements and staff in other districts are negotiating towards contract deals by November.

In the meantime, negotiators for the BC Teachers' Federation and the employers association will meet this Friday for talks for the first time in several weeks.

Both sides in those negotiations are expected to make contract proposals.