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Teachers' union has hope

The head of the BC teachers' union says he's hoping mediation will get underway next month and lead to a negotiated settlement so classes can start in the fall.

Jim Iker says he met with government negotiator Peter Cameron on Wednesday, the first time in two weeks.

Iker says he stressed that the BC Teachers' Federation is ready to enter into mediation but without any pre-conditions.

He says B.C. Supreme Court Judge Stephen Kelleher has some time available in August to get the mediation process underway.

Iker has said the government's pre-conditions have been a stumbling block to bargaining because the union had to agree to a specific wage offer before a proposal for improvements to classroom conditions would be disclosed.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said the union needs to move into its "affordability zone" and can't expect wages that aren't in line with what other public-sector unions have received.

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