A sigh of relief was heard across the province this morning with the announcement that a tentative deal has been negotiated by the BC Teachers Federation and the government.
The two sides reached the agreement with the assistance of mediator Vince Ready.
Final details of the proposed agreement are still being worked out but the final deal will be put to a vote by the BCTF membership on Thursday.
If teachers and school boards vote in favour, some BC schools could be back in session on Monday, even if for just a partial day.
No details of the proposed agreement were available as of press time but Paul Boscariol, Nelson District Teachers Association president, was expecting them by Tuesday afternoon.
Boscariol said the association could meet with its 205-plus teacher membership as early as Wednesday or at least on Thursday for a question-and-answer session before voting.
“The recommendation from the bargaining executive is to accept the tentative deal but it is up to the individuals how they chose to vote,” he said. Until the agreement is ratified, teachers will remain on the picket lines.
School district 8 board chair Rebecca Huscroft said “We are very pleased that a tentative negotiated settlement has been proposed.
“Both the board of education and the [union locals] are required to ratify this settlement before any details can be made public. As a board, BCPSEA has asked that we have our vote in by Friday at 3 p.m.”
Kootenay Lake school district superintendent Jeff Jones said “We are delighted that a tentative agreement has been proposed. Regarding a return to school for students, we don’t know if the proposed agreement includes details in that regard.
“We have to wait for more information, and confer with the local co-presidents of the Kootenay Lake Teachers Federation before we can proceed with any district plans.”
If school starts on Monday, students will have missed 18 days of school this year. BC teachers have been without a contract since June 2013.