B.C. teachers' strike: 5 big questions

What is the latest information on the pressing questions in the B.C. teachers' strike and lockout? CBC reporter Steve Lus distills the data and answers your FAQs.

We bring you the latest information on the biggest issues and questions surrounding the teachers' dispute

B.C. teachers will picket summer school if no deal is reached by June 30, but there are many other questions surrounding the long-running labour dispute. (CBC)

What is the latest information on the pressing questions in the B.C. teachers' strike and lockout? CBC reporter Steve Lus distills the data and answers your Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How will students get their final marks?

Teachers have already submitted marks for Grade 12 students, after a Labour Relations Board order to do so by June 20th. Students in grades 10 and 11 are also covered by an LRB order.

There is controversy about how one school district is marking grade 10 and 11 students. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows teachers are being advised by their district to 'bump' mid-year averages, so that a mark of 40 per cent constitutes a pass. The B.C. Education Ministry suggests other school districts are not using the same method.

It's unclear whether other school districts are all making their own decisions when it comes to determining what marks to give grade 10 and 11 students. No B.C. Public Employers' Association official was available to comment.

As far as students between Kindergarten and grade 9 are concerned, school districts have yet to finalize plans, and they are not covered by any LRB order.

2. What about final exams?

Provincial exams are being written, and will be marked thanks to an LRB order, and some of the exams have been modified.

3. Will there be summer school?

The BCTF has indicated if there is no deal by June 30th, it will picket summer schools in B.C.. President Jim Iker has suggested the union does not have a problem with students accessing online summer courses, but the BCTF has not clarified how that will work.

The BCPSEA asked the LRB to declare remedial summer school — designed for students who are struggling — an essential service, and the LRB did so Friday night. Friday's decision does not cover students who look to take courses in the summer to gain extra credits.

4. What will happen in September?

Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said both sides should commit to bargaining through the summer if necessary, and he says he is committed to changing a pattern of legislating teachers back to work. However, he has acknowledged the government will have to examine all of its options should no deal be reached this summer.

BCTF president Jim Iker insists his focus is on getting a deal done by June 30. Iker has only just outlined his union's position on summer school. September isn't something he's discussing, yet.

5. Just how close are the two sides?

The BCTF insists the two sides are very close on compensation. Jim Iker has stressed the two sides are just one percentage point apart.

BCPSEA counters with its "affordability zone" and argues when you add wages, benefits and a proposed $5,000 bonus, the BCTF is demanding a compensation package worth twice the average public sector contract.

The two sides are also far apart on the issue of class size and composition. You can view the BCPSEA position at the bottom of this document. You can read about the BCTF's proposal here.


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