B.C.’s striking teachers are expected to vote this week on a tentative settlement with the provincial government.
Mediator Vince Ready announced the agreement early Tuesday morning after five days of talks at a Richmond hotel. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the province’s negotiators agreed to withhold details until they have a final document to present, he said.
In Williams Lake, with the announcement there may be light at the end of the teacher dispute tunnel, nine-year-old Rachel Loewen said Tuesday she is ready to get back in the classroom.
Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room with her grandmother, Rachel said: “Yeah. I am so excited to be going back to school. I have wanted to go back from the very beginning.”
The student’s sentiments were echoed on the picket line as news about the tentative deal began to filter out into media.
Standing at the Williams Lake Secondary Campus on Carson Avenue, Andy Riegl, staff representative and Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association bargaining chair, said he’d heard some of the news by Tuesday morning.
“One of our Kamloops bargaining members said the agreement is something we could live with. It’s not going to be wonderful and it will be a compromise.”
– With files from Tom Fletcher