B.C. ballot blunder to cost thousands of dollars: teachers' union

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VANCOUVER - The union representing British Columbia teachers says the profession's regulatory branch has bungled an election by mailing out voting packages without ballots.

The Teacher Regulation Branch, which oversees standards for members and is part of the Education Ministry, is running elections for five seats on its council.

The ministry says it will have to mail out ballots because the documents were left out of voting packages recently sent to teachers in three areas of southwestern B.C.

Teachers' union president Jim Iker says the ballot blunder will create confusion among members and waste thousands of dollars in extra mailing costs.

He says the B.C. government is calling on school districts to cut an extra $54 million over the next two years while it balances the province's books.

Iker says he has asked Education Minister Peter Fassbender to extend the voting deadline of March 20 so the process is fair to members regardless of where they live.

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