Mission teacher Anthony Luyken votes on the proposed contract for the province's teachers Thursday morning at the Mission Teachers' Union office on Second Avenue.

Mission teacher Anthony Luyken votes on the proposed contract for the province's teachers Thursday morning at the Mission Teachers' Union office on Second Avenue.

Teachers vote on contract

Results of vote not expected until late Thursday evening

Mission students will be back in schools if the proposed six-year contract for teachers is accepted.

Teachers across the province voted on the negotiated deal Thursday, but results were not expected to be known until 9 p.m.

If the deal is ratified, teachers will be back in schools Friday to prepare for classes next week. Classes will start up Monday, Sept. 22, according to the Mission Public Schools’ website. The first day of class will run from  8:30 to 11 a.m. for elementary school students, and from 8:50 to 11:30 a.m. for middle and secondary school students.

Educators will continue to prepare for the school year in the afternoon, but some teachers say it will be difficult for senior students on a semester program to make up for the lost time in the classroom.

Most teachers will be happy to go back to work, said Mission Teachers’ Union president Mark Bradshaw.

Some districts are recommending the contract be accepted, while other are not. In Mission, the union is not making a recommendation.

“We’re telling members to read over the contract and make up their own mind.”

The negotiated contract is a good beginning, based on the stress of the situation, said teacher Anthony Luyken. “We still need to continue with the momentum to get back to where we were in class size and composition (prior to 2002), and bring value back to public education.”

“It’s good to be back,” said math instructor Kevin Gill. “I think students will be keen to get started.”

Teachers have been on strike since June.