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BCCPAC may be ready to jump into dispute between province and teachers

RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – The head of a parents’ group representing schools across BC says members are so frustrated with the teachers’ strike that they’re considering their own pressure tactics to end the dispute.

Terry Berting of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils says the group will meet on the weekend to discuss how they can approach the government and the teachers’ union to negotiate a deal.

Berting says parents want to take the high road but they’re embarrassed by the ongoing bitterness that’s become part of the provincial education system.

He says parents are losing patience after four days of rotating strikes by teachers — with another four days scheduled — while the province has responded with a limited lockout and other measures.

More than 100 parents on advisory councils from around the province gathered today for their annual general meeting, which started with an hour-long keynote address by Education Minister Peter Fassbender.

He said the government is willing to stay at the bargaining table throughout the summer if a deal is not reached by the end of June.

Parent Orra Storkan says she doesn’t feel much sympathy for teachers, who are demanding a 13.7 per cent pay hike over four years while the government is offering them 7.3 per cent over six years.

Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) operate in every BC public school, with parent volunteers working to improve the educational experience for their youngsters