Students won't be the only ones hitting the books once the school year starts in September.
Negotiators for the teachers union and the provincial government will also be sitting down next month to begin talks for the first time since Victoria opted to replace school trustee representatives with direct government appointments at the bargaining table.
The move, made at the end of June, is tied to the province's desire to reach a 10-year deal with the teachers union - something teachers have opposed so far.
Two trustee representatives will remain in an advisory capacity as talks get underway in September.
Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver Seymour who is a former school trustee herself, said her understanding is the decision was tied to the need for a 10-year deal.
So far trustees have done a good job bargaining specific issues, she said. But she added "We need to have a longer-term solution for stability in the classroom."
Rob Millard, president of the West Vancouver Teachers Association, said teachers' representatives had yet to discuss the latest developments.
Teachers aren't the only school employees who are heading to crunch time as students get ready to head back to school.
CUPE, the union representing school supporter workers including clerical and maintenance staff, classroom assistance and janitors, issued a statement earlier this month saying their talks with the province The union also hinted that a strike may not be out of the question.
"That would be a worse case scenario," said Cindy McQueen, president of the North Vancouver CUPE local that represents approximately 1,100 school support workers. "Hopefully they're going to get back to the table prior to school starting."
The main issue in the talks appears to be wages.
The government has said public sector wage increases will only be allowed if savings representing the same amount of money can be found elsewhere in the system.
The union issued a statement this week saying its members have not had a wage increase in four years.
Franci Stratton, chairwoman of the North Vancouver Board of Education, said the school board is taking a wait and see approach to the latest developments.
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