August 29, 2014 - 9:29 AM
VANCOUVER - Teachers and the B.C. government's negotiator are expected to bring their bargaining committees to discussions with veteran mediator Vince Ready Friday.
Ready says both sides remain far apart but he has asked them to bring their committees to the meeting so he can hear proposals from both sides.
While the meetings have given parents a sliver of hope that school may start on time this fall, Ready emphasizes the talks remain exploratory and mediation is not underway.
B.C.'s 40,000 teachers went on strike two weeks before summer vacation started and the ongoing job action has parents worried it will delay the start of classes on Sept. 2.
Friday's meeting comes after both sides met with Ready on Thursday, following a previous discussion in Victoria between Education Minister Peter Fassbender, Jim Iker of the teachers' union and government negotiator Peter Cameron.
On Wednesday, Fassbender asked both teachers and their employer to start mediation, temporarily table some of their most contentious issues, and put strikes and lockouts on hold for two weeks.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014