Creston Valley schools ‘ready to go’ following tentative BCTF-province deal

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  • Sep. 16, 2014 8:00 p.m.
Creston Valley schools 'ready to go' following tentative BCTF-province deal

Becky Blair says she first heard of a proposed settlement of the teachers’ strike at 6:10 this morning.

“When I put my feet on the floor at 10 after 6 I looked at my email and learned we have a tentative agreement,” she said. “I yelled at my husband, ‘It’s done!’ ”

The president of the Creston Valley School Teachers’ Association said teachers are ready to get back to their classrooms and students as soon as the deal is inked.

“We know nothing about the details yet,” she said.

Once the bargaining teams have ironed out the wording the BC Teachers’ Federation executive must approve it and put it to a membership vote.

“We have already scheduled a meeting to go over the details with our teachers on Wednesday and I assume a vote will be held on Thursday,” she said.

“We were ready to go back to work last Wednesday,” she said, referring to a Sept. 10 99.4 per cent yes vote by teachers to settle the dispute with binding arbitration, a proposal that was rejected by the government.

Blair said it will take a day or two as teachers have to organize their classrooms. High school teachers don’t even have their teaching assignments in hand yet. There will be some upheaval as newcomers register their children and class structures are organized.

Creston Valley schools have an advantage in that teachers did not picket schools over the summer, allowing CUPE workers to continue with maintenance schedules.

“Our schools are ready to go.”

Pickets will remain in place until the vote, but Blair doesn’t expect that teachers would vote down a negotiated settlement.

“To her credit, Christy (Premier Clark) said she wanted a negotiated settlement and she didn’t waver from that,” Blair said. “We trust our bargaining team as a whole and our members will be thrilled to be back in the classroom, as will students and parents.”