NEWS
09/02/2014 09:32 EDT | Updated 11/02/2014 05:59 EST

B.C. teachers' strike: How far apart are the 2 sides?

The B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association can't seem to agree on terms that would resolve the current contract dispute and get teachers back in the classroom.

Here's a look at three of the areas where the numbers differ between the two sides.

1. Contract term

The employer is after a six-year-contract term, while the teachers' union wants a five-year contract.

2. Signing bonus

The employer says the $1,200 signing bonus has expired and is off the table, while the union is holding out for a $5,000 signing bonus.

3. Wage increase

"We're close on wages. They're one per cent apart, in terms of the actual number," BCTF president Jim Iker said Monday.

While the employer is offering a seven per cent wage increase, the union is demanding an eight per cent wage increase. But B.C. Minister of Education Peter Fassbender said the wage calculation isn't that simple.

"The real sticking block at the moment is the benefits. If you put wages and benefits together, the BCTF ask is still double—double—what every other public sector union has settled for," Fassbender said.

The employer says that with the reduced hours and other benefits being asked for, the effective wage increase the union is asking for is 11.2 per cent.

Three other important areas were the two sides have yet to reach an agreement are class size, class composition and support for special needs students, which are currently the subject of an ongoing legal battle.

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More B.C. teacher's strike coverage from CBC News:

- VOTE| How long do you think B.C. schools will be closed?