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Teachers' wage demands

BC's chief negotiator for the teachers' contract says he's not about to sacrifice the province's stellar credit rating on salary demands that are four times higher than most other public-sector unions.

Peter Cameron says the government may resort to measures next week to convince teachers that their demands can't be met.

He says teachers want salary and cost-of-living increases that add up to 13.5 per cent over three years, while the government has tabled increases of 7.25 per cent over six years.

Cameron estimates the third year of wage increases proposed by teachers, including benefits, will increase government costs by almost $5.8 million.

Earlier this week, teachers launched their first phase of job action, which includes refusing to supervise students outside classrooms or communicating in writing with administrators.

BC Teachers Federation president Jim Iker says that besides wages, the government is refusing to budge on a proposed 10-year contract and class size and composition matters.

 

The Canadian Press

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