August 31, 2014 10:22 pm

Parents scramble as students stay home

VANCOUVER — As talks broke down between the provincial government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation on Saturday night, parents and students were left scrambling. Chief government negotiator Peter Cameron has already announced there would be no school on Tuesday, and today BCTF President Jim Iker said he didn’t know when teachers would be going back to work.

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“We deserve to have the education and it’s being taken away from us right now. We feel that it’s unfair. They’ve wasted a complete two months of our time and of parents’ time,” said grade 12 student Jini Wang. She is leading a student rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday and says she hopes it will be a place where both parents and students can express their disappointment with the situation.

“It’s got to the point where students are feeling so left out and so abandoned that we have to take a stand for ourselves,” Wang told Global News.

Meanwhile, parents in the province are making alternative childcare arrangements. Some say that the camps and daycare are full, and their children have to stay at home.

The government is offering $40 a day for parents of students 12 and under. Today they launched a website where people could register for the money, but a rush of people to the site caused it to temporarily shut down. According to the site, the money won’t be paid out to parents until a deal is reached between the teachers and the government.

But that plan doesn’t work for all parents.

“When you don’t have a cheque in your hand, that’s a hole in your bank account,” parent Billy O’Donovan told Global News.

–With files from Tanya Beja.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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