B.C.’s education minister is hopeful that the resumption of bargaining on Friday will signal a turning point in the months-long job dispute between the provincial government and BCTF.
“I’m optimistic we can reach a negotiated settlement,” said Fassbender.
The government says parents will receive $40 per day for every child in school under 13 if the strike continues into the new school year, but Fassbender is publicly downplaying the possibility of that.
“My hope is there isn’t a nickel available as of September because schools are operating…and there is no further disruption.”
Others those have backup plans.
“We’re open depending on the neighbourhood at 8 or 8:30 so parents can drop their kids off, and then we’re open until the end of the work day,” says Carolyn Tuckwell, the President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.
In Prince George, a group of teachers who often spend the summer working construction jobs for friends and family have formed a roofing company, Pro-5 Roofing.
“You follow what’s on the news and announcements from the government, it doesn’t seem like they’re really interested in schools open for the fall,” Daryl Beauregard, one of the owners.
“How do we start looking at September?,” added Mark Hunter, another owner.
“Do we start finding more roofs to do, or lean back and see what happens?”
– With files from Jill Bennett