The Vancouver School Board is calling on the provincial government and the teachers' union to use binding arbitration to resolve their ongoing contract dispute.

Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus says finishing this school year with a strike and lockout was difficult, but if the dispute isn't settled soon, the start of the next school is going to be even worse.

"My primary concern is of course that it won't be resolved, and if it is resolved at the very last minute, it will be a very chaotic start to a new school year, even if we get it resolved in late August."

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BCTF president Jim Iker, on the left, and B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender, on the right, have so far failed to negotiate a contract for B.C.'s teachers. (CBC)

Bacchus says the district has already had to cancel summer school programs and the planning they should be doing now for the start of a new school isn't getting done because these two sides are so far apart.

"The concern is growing that talks have stalled. We have heard no news and it doesn't sound like there are really any signs of progress," said Bacchus.

That's why the board voted last night to ask the B.C. government and the B.C. Teachers' Federation to agree to binding arbitration.

Earlier in the dispute, the VSB had called on both sides to go to mediation or take on an industrial inquiry commissioner, but efforts to find a mediator willing to get involved in the dispute have failed twice already.

Terry Donnelly