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Teachers bargaining begins

There is some optimism as both sides in the BC teachers' dispute employ their full bargaining teams when they head back to negotiations later this week.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender says the upcoming meeting on Friday will have the entire bargaining teams and each side is expected to make a contract presentation.

The minister says he is encouraged by the move, and is optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be reached before school starts in September.

BC's 40,000 teachers launched a full-scale strike about two weeks before the end of the school year, calling for wage hikes and for the government to address issues such as class size and composition.

The province has argued the proposed salary increases are unaffordable when compared with other public sector workers.

Last week, BC's finance minister announced a subsidy that would give parents $40 a day for child care, tutoring or other educational options for children under 13 if the strike extends into the school year.

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