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Strike mandate doesn't mean full walkout: Sooke teachers' rep

As members of the Sooke Teachers Association picket schools in the Sooke district tomorrow, work continues on attempting to forge a deal between B.C. teachers and the province.

On Monday, Sooke Teachers Association president Ian Johnston pointed out that a yes mandate from the B.C. Teachers' Federation membership does not necessarily mean a full-scale walkout is imminent.

"A strong 'yes' vote does not mean the BCTF would automatically go to a full withdrawal of services," he said. "We have no interest in going out. I don't think it's good for students and it's not good for parents."

While Sooke School District teachers wound up their voting on Monday – most voted in the advance poll held Friday, when the SD62 was off on a rotating strike – the provincial strike vote was scheduled to be completed today, with the result to be announced around 9:30 p.m.

Johnston said the strike vote was held mainly to increase the pressure on the government in negotiations.

"It's more the signal it sends to government; how strong is our resolve. That's really what it's all about," he said.

A yes vote means the teachers can go on strike as early as June 16.

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