June 29, 2014 6:28 pm

Government’s $1,200 signing bonus offer to B.C. teachers expires tomorrow

WATCH: Legislature Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey with the latest developments on the strike.

Tomorrow is a key deadline regarding the signing bonus in the provincial teachers’ strike.

In May, the provincial government had agreed to offer a $1,200 signing bonus if a new collective bargaining agreement was reached with the BC Teachers’ Federation before the end of the school year.

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At the time of the offer, BCTF president Jim Iker said in response to the signing bonus that “it’d make more sense to put [the signing bonus] on the salary grids… that would put the two sides closer together.”

Negotiations between the BCTF and government have stalled and attempts at getting a mediator to help settle the dispute have come up short.

Currently the BCTF is calling for $450 million a year, including retroactive pay and for class size and composition changes along with increased medical benefits. The union is also asking for an eight per cent wage increase over five years and a $5,000 signing bonus.

The province is offering seven per cent over six years plus a smaller signing bonus of $1,200, which expires tomorrow.

The BCTF said if the government doesn’t come to the table with new funding by tomorrow then teachers will picket outside summer schools. The two sides met for negotiations on thursday and friday but imposed a media blackout on information.

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