Tuesday, September 2, 2014

B.C. teachers' strike cancels first day of school

It's back to class today for students across most of Canada -- the exception being British Columbia where the teacher's strike will extend the summer vacations of some half-a-million public school kids.
The long-running labour feud has many parents scrambling to secure daycare spaces, which due to the fast rising demand, are getting scarce.

Janos Stiasny, owner of Wise Owl Montessori Child Care, says he's managed to find spaces for an additional 25 children, but still has a growing waiting list of anxious mothers and fathers.

The 40,000 teachers began their strike in mid-June with contract talks deadlocked over the issues of pay, class size and support staff levels.

Top labour troubleshooter Vince Ready met with the two sides over the weekend but left the table Saturday declaring they were still too far apart to begin mediation.

With no new talks scheduled, and the province saying it won't legislate the teachers back to work, Stiasny says he's had to hire more staff to try to accommodate panicking parents.

"They are scrambling, they are on waitlists, they are saying 'how come they don't have space."'

Stiasny, however, laments there's only so much he can do as requests for his help mushroom, adding that he expects he`ll have to take some time off work to care for his own 10-year-old.

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