B.C. teachers' union to contact employer, but no talks as full strike begins

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VANCOUVER - Day one of a full-scale strike by British Columbia's teachers has begun with much of the same finger pointing seen over several weeks of the bitter dispute.

Union head Jim Iker stood with picketing teachers this morning and repeated complaints that all union proposals have been rejected by the government's bargaining agent.

Such claims produced a stern denial from chief government negotiator Peter Cameron, who accuses Iker of misrepresenting the facts.

Both men agree talks have stalled, but Iker says the union intends to contact the employer today.

He says the other side must be ready to submit new proposals if there is any hope for further bargaining.

Wages, class size, support for students and the hiring of specialist teachers remain key issues in the strike that affects more than 40,000 teachers and about half a million students.

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, British Columbia

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