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Gov't ready for teacher deal

BC's education minister says the province is ready to make what he calls 'significant moves' in order to reach an agreement with its teachers.

Teachers in the province have been withholding supervision of students before and after school and during recess since April 23 to back demands for a new contract.

They have been without a contract since June of last year.

In a statement released by the province Thursday afternoon, Peter Fassbender stated the province is ready to make two moves at the bargaining table in an effort to reach an agreement before the end of June.

The first says Fassbender will be to table a new offer with a six-year term instead of the 10-year length the province has been asking for.

"A six-year term would be the longest agreement ever reached with the Teachers' Federation in British Columbia. And, it will open the door to a 10-year agreement next," said Fassbender.

The second move would be a time-limited signing bonus. The amount and details will be discussed at the table Friday.

Fassbender said the incentives are aimed at getting an agreement and putting the province on a path to long-term labour peace.

"Parents and students want to see a negotiated teachers' contract before the end of the school year. So do trustees and government," said Fassbender.

"Students and parents don't need to begin yet another school year in September with the threat of a full strike and major disruptions hanging over their heads. Our children deserve stability."

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