FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, held a special teleconference on Wednesday regarding the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
The B.C. Teachers Federation and the Province are currently in eight days of mediated bargaining in order to negotiate a collective agreement before the start of the school year.
The collective agreement between the Teacher’s Federation and the Province had expired June 30.
When it comes to negotiations, Fleming says he remains optimistic that a collective agreement will be made by this weekend.
“I want to say that we’re hopeful that the parties can find solutions and reach a deal, a deal that will work for students, good for teachers, and for everyone in the school system. We have scheduled mediation for the next three days, including today, and I share the BCTF’s optimism that they feel we can get to a deal by this weekend.”
According to Fleming, even if an agreement is not met by this weekend, he says the school year will start on September 3 without a full-on strike.
When asked about the recruitment of teachers for Northern B.C., Fleming says the Province has been directly sponsoring and funding additional teacher education programs in order to help recruit teachers to Northern communities.