The president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation announced Thursday night that 27,275 members of the 31,741 who cast ballots, or 86 per cent, voted in favour of the agreement.
Jim Iker says the result means the strike and lockout are now over and teachers and students will be back in school in most districts on Monday. We should hear more specific information on Friday about schools in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.
The result is lower than the landslide support garnered in another province wide vote last week to end the dispute with binding arbitration, reflecting discontent among teachers with the contracts’ contents.
The mood was bittersweet as union members cast ballots earlier in the day, with some teachers saying the deal didn’t offer enough to compensate for the losses from job action or improve classroom conditions for children.
The collective agreement includes a 7.25 per cent salary increase, improvements in extended health benefits and the teaching-on-call rates, as well as a $400-million education fund to hire specialist teachers.