B.C. teachers have voted strongly in favour of ending their strike and returning to work next week.
B.C. Teachers’ Federation members voted 86 per cent in favour of a six-year agreement negotiated with the help of mediator Vince Ready this week.
“I’m happy with this deal,” said BCTF president Jim Iker. It gives the province’s 40,000 teachers a raise of 7.25 per cent over six years, improvements to benefits and a fund to hire hundreds of new teachers each year.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender congratulated teachers on the settlement, which ends a bitter strike that shut schools for two weeks in June and another three weeks this fall.
“We can now focus on the path forward,” Fassbender said. “This long-term agreement is an historic opportunity to work together for students – to enhance their education experience and to support their achievements.”
Premier Christy Clark added her thanks on Twitter.
“This is a fair, affordable deal that will let us focus on putting students first,” Clark said.
VIDEO: BCTF president Jim Iker addresses the province’s teachers