August 15, 2014 1:50 am
Updated: August 15, 2014 3:00 am

Veteran mediator agrees to mediate ‘exploratory’ talks between BCTF, government

VANCOUVER – Veteran mediator Vince Ready has agreed to step in to mediate exploratory talks between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, the BCTF and the province said over the summer, discussions have continued between Jim Iker and Peter Cameron, leading up to last Friday’s face-to-face session of the two bargaining teams.

Ready said he is available to meet with the two parties this week and later in August and met separately with the two groups on Aug. 13.

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He is now resuming exploratory talks and will start full mediation when he believes it will be productive.

Both the BCTF and the province have agreed they will not release any more information to the public until further discussion with Ready.

So while a deal has not been reached yet, the two sides are a little closer to ending the dispute so school can start in September.

“We heard they were talking last Friday,” said Patti Bacchus, Vancouver School Board chair. “This week things were very quiet, which I was taking as a hopeful sign, certainly beats the dueling news conferences, but to hear that there’s discussion at bringing in Vince Ready who has such an incredible record and that there’s some willingness and sounds like there’s a possibility there is some hope. So I think it’s good news.”

“I hope it’s good news.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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