Provincial exams continue as teachers’ full-scale strike enters week 2

File photo. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images.
File photo. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images. Jeff Mitchell , Getty Images

VANCOUVER – Some Grade 12 students are taking their provincial exams this morning, while the teachers’ full-scale strike enters week two.

And mediation to help put an end to the ongoing dispute is not looking hopeful.

Mediator Vince Ready, the man both sides wanted to help put an end to the teachers’ job action, has declined to mediate.

Last Thursday the BC Teachers’ Federation asked for Ready to step in and help solve the dispute. The government agreed and they put out the call.

On Sunday Ready declined the offer.

His online schedule shows him fully booked until May, 2015.

Both sides are trying to come up with another mediator.

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READ MORE: What you need to know about provincial exams

Mark Brown had been involved in the discussions since February 2013 and after the BCTF called for mediation on Thursday, immediately stepped down.

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.

– With files from Paula Baker