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Ontario teachers donate $100,000 to B.C. teachers

A empty teachers desk is pictured at the front of a empty classroom at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward.
A empty teachers desk is pictured at the front of a empty classroom at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – A coalition representing 160,000 Ontario public school teachers has donated $100,000 to British Columbia’s teachers’ union so striking teachers can continue their labour dispute with the provincial government.

Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Rian McLaughlin says her members want to stand with their B.C. counterparts in their struggle for a fair bargaining process.

The donation comes from McLaughlin’s organization and three affiliates — the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

The money adds to $8 million in loans and a $500,000 donation pledged by a group of B.C. unions to help teachers carry on their months-long strike without pay.

The B.C. government has said a negotiated settlement is the only way to resolve the dispute, and Premier Christy Clark says she is determined to reach a deal with teachers before she leaves for a trade mission early next month.

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Education Minister Peter Fassbender had rejected back-to-work legislation until Thursday, when he said it’s an option available to government.