Mission schools will open Monday

Teachers across the province vote strongly in favour of ending strike

B.C. teachers have voted strongly in favour of ending their strike and returning to work next week, meaning Mission schools are set to open their doors on Monday.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation members voted 86 per cent in favour of a six-year agreement negotiated with the help of mediator Vince Ready this week.

An update from Mission Public Schools states that schools will be read to welcome student on Monday for a half day. Elementary schools will run from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. and Hatzic Elementary will run from 8:45 to 11 a.m. Middle and secondary schools will be open from 8:50 to 11:30 a.m.

The school year will then commence as it normally would in early September with regular hours of instruction.

“I’m happy with this deal,” said BCTF president Jim Iker. It gives the province’s 40,000 teachers a raise of 7.25 per cent over six years, improvements to benefits and a fund to hire hundreds of new teachers each year.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender congratulated teachers on the settlement, which ends a bitter strike that shut schools for two weeks in June and another three weeks this fall.

“We can now focus on the path forward,” Fassbender said. “This long-term agreement is an historic opportunity to work together for students – to enhance their education experience and to support their achievements.”

Premier Christy Clark added her thanks on Twitter.

“This is a fair, affordable deal that will let us focus on putting students first,” Clark said.