The Langley Teachersâ€™ Association is asking its members and parents of students to lobby for binding arbitration.
That includes contacting local school trustees, media and elected representatives.
â€œWe believe binding arbitration to be the fairest, fastest way to ensure that schools open and our students are back in class,â€ said LTA president Gail Chaddock-Costello.
She said trustees are acutely aware of the impact of government cuts on public education so they should be vocal.
â€œTrustees were not elected to be silent or to conduct themselves as bystanders when effective, fair and reasonable solutions are within reach,â€ she noted.
Classes were set to resume just over a week ago but schools are being picket lines and the two sides still seem far apart.
The BC Teachers Federation is calling for binding arbitration.
â€œIt is clear that the government was not serious about negotiations or mediation,â€ she said.
On Monday Education Minister Peter Fassbender rejected the BCTF request, saying â€œbinding arbitration is not in the cards in this dispute, period. When the NDP government settled with the doctors through binding arbitration, it had a huge impact on the budget of the province and on all of us as taxpayers.â€
Instead the provincial government is calling on teachers to head back to work while negotiations resume.
â€œBut the BCTF is still asking for nearly twice as much as what other public-sector unions have settled for and they are still demanding a $5,000 signing bonus. Thatâ€™s not affordable and itâ€™s not fair to other unionized employees,â€ Fassbender said.
On Wednesday, a group of labour unions announced it would provide an interest-free loan of up to $8 million for the BCTF.
What are the kids up to?
The Langley Advance asked on social media what local families are doing after more than a week with no school.
â€¢ Lorraine Baldwin: â€œAttending Township camps some days, going to neighboursâ€™ houses other days, hanging about at home.â€
â€¢ Guilia Russo Stadnik: â€œA lot of juggling but we are making it workâ€¦ friends, grandma, stepdaughter, day camps 🙂 This week alone: M â€“ my twins went to a friendâ€™s as a trade childcare day. T â€“ my twins went to a friendâ€™s home as paid daycare. W â€“ my friendâ€™s kids came to my place as a trade childcare day. T â€“ grannyâ€™s so I can work a longer day to make up for my shorter days. F â€“ home with dad and will be dropped off at my work at 11am so he can go to work. Theyâ€™ll hang out for a while in my lunchroom until I can finish up a shorter work day. Sometimes I have to note where they are each day since it changes constantly…where they are and what time to pick them up 😉 My work has been great as long as I make sure my full hours are there over the entire week.â€
â€¢ Simmi Dhillon: â€œKumon and heâ€™s not happy about it.â€
â€¢ Julia Ng: â€œItâ€™s of Lego building. Also lots of getting on each otherâ€™s nerves! My 5, 7 & 9 year old boy have spent every day together for 3 months! Minus a couple hours apart last Monday for a play date. I can tell they need their space and time with their peers.â€