June 25, 2014 8:21 am

Government, BCTF to meet today but not to resume bargaining

Teachers on the picket line.

Roger Hope / Global News

VANCOUVER – The two sides in the teachers’ dispute will come together to talk today, but they’re not exactly resuming bargaining.

Instead the goal of today’s exploratory talks will be to find a way forward.

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School trustees are calling on the province and the teachers’ union to find another mediator and get back to the bargaining table. Veteran mediator Vince Ready has already declined to get involved, citing a busy schedule.

On Tuesday the province applied to the Labour Relations Board, (LRB), asking it to force striking teachers to teach remedial summer school courses for high school students.

The LRB will now have to rule on the issue, but there is no timeline on when that ruling will happen.

Meanwhile, several students crossed B.C. teachers’ picket lines on Tuesday to take their provincial exams. Those exams were given the green light a few weeks ago by the LRB.

However, while the LRB has declared all aspects of Grade 12 report cards an essential service, meaning graduates will get their final marks, the issue of Grade 10 and 11 marks is up in the air.

There were also less essay questions on their provincial exams and they were mostly multiple choice.

“Let’s face it, some kids don’t do well with multiple choice exams,” said Mike Lombardi, Vancouver Board of Education vice chairperson. “They need to be able to write, express what they know and demonstrate their learning. It’s rather unfortunate but again it’s another example of the Ministry of Education making decisions on the fly without having any understanding of what’s going on on the ground.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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