VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A group of teachers representing the BC Teachers Federation has voted unanimously to ratify a framework agreement leading to the start of contract talks.

Union president Susan Lambert says the vote by about 200 elected teachers is a significant step in the right direction before collective bargaining starts on February 4.

The agreement says teachers want a timeline to facilitate negotiations with the BC Public School Employers’ Association, the government’s bargaining agent.

Federation president Susan Lambert calls it a positive development. “It is a good sign. It’s a positive agreement, it helps both sides. It was done respectfully and constructively and it is a positive sign for the start of bargaining.”

It also calls for the appointment of a facilitator to assist with collective bargaining.

The employer is set to discuss the proposed agreement this afternoon.

The teachers’ current two-year contract, which was retroactive one year, expires at the end of June.