Tentative deal reached in teachers’ dispute

The B.C. government has reached a tentative deal with the B.C. Teachers' Federation

The B.C. government has reached a tentative deal with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation to restore contract provisions ordered restored in November by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The tentative agreement, if ratified, will allow the next school year to start with thousands more teachers, smaller class sizes, better class composition, and specialist teacher ratios,” BCTF president Glen Hansman said in a statement Saturday.

Education Minister Mike Bernier issued a similar statement, congratulating the parties for the “significant effort and professionalism that was brought to the table” in the four months since the court decision ended a bitter 15-year dispute.

The agreement has been endorsed by the BCTF executive committee and the B.C. Public School Employers Association, and goes to a BCTF ratification vote this week.

As a preliminary step, the province set aside $100 million to hire 1,100 more teachers this year.

Details of the deal have not been released, but Hansman said earlier it would take $300 million a year to restore contract provisions removed by legislation in 2002 when Premier Christy Clark was education minister.