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Updated: Media tells BCTF of government's plans for 10 year deal by June

Outgoing BC Teachers’ Federation President Susan Lambert had to hear it from Twitter that the provincial government is hinting* at a 10-year negotiated teachers contract by the June 30 deadline.

No one from the Teachers’ Federation was available to comment as today is one of three Representative Assemblies the union holds each year. But a spokesperson from the BC Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA), the government’s representative at the bargaining table, confirmed that both sides received a letter from Deputy Education Minister James Gorman* today.

“It’s a letter telling us we’re going to get another letter, essentially,” said the spokesperson, who said the letter mentioned the 10 year agreement.

The letter, which has been released by the BCTF and can be read here, references the BC Liberals election promise to "'immediately begin discussions with BCPSEA and the BC Teachers' Federation to achieve a 10-year collective agreement' after the election." The letter ends with a promise to arrange a meeting between President Lambert and the new Education Minister "as soon as is feasible after their appointment in order to discuss the path further."

When the idea was originally floated last fall, Lambert questioned government’s willingness to bargain in good faith if they were already drawing conclusions about bargaining’s end result before coming to the table.

While the teachers’ union wasn’t available to comment, someone is updating their Twitter account with response and interaction with journalists to the news, which the Vancouver Sun’s Jonathan Fowlie appears to have broken.

The Tyee will update this story as it progresses. But in the meantime you can watch the action live on Twitter by searching BCTF.

*Updated at 4:36 p.m.

Katie Hyslop reports on education for The Tyee Solutions Society. Follow her on Twitter.

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