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Teachers debate tentative contract ahead of vote that could reopen B.C. schools

B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker speaks in Vancouver, on May 26, 2014.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
September 17, 2014 - 1:02 PM

VANCOUVER - The initial euphoria of getting a negotiated deal in the bitter B.C. teachers' strike has worn off and now more than 40,000 union members are tallying their wins and losses before voting on the contract.

Members of the B.C. Teachers' Federation will weigh in on whether the agreement reached after six days of intense bargaining was worth five weeks off the job and thousands of dollars lost in wages.

Business Prof. Fiona McQuarrie, at the University of the Fraser Valley, says she expects most teachers will consider how deeply they were affected by the strike as they decide how to vote.

Labour lawyer Ritu Mahil says the recommendation to vote in favour of the tentative deal indicates the union executive believes it's the best deal they could have reached.

Victoria teacher Tara Ehrcke says she doesn't believe the union gained enough despite the struggles teachers faced, noting her read of the numbers in the tentative deal suggest only five to 10 schools in her district will gain a new teacher.

Vancouver teacher Troy Hardwick says he's not sure the agreement will include enough money for his class to have resources such as a computer but he's glad he can get back to work and advocate for students.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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