Classes have been cancelled throughout the Chignecto Central Regional School Board this Friday after the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union announced all members will be participating in a one-day, province-wide walkout.
News of the strike follows legislation introduced by the Liberal Government on February 14. In a release, the province says it has introduced a teacher’s professional agreement and classroom improvement act which aimed to “provide a fair wage package to the province’s teachers.”
“For more than two months, this impasse and continued work-to-rule strike action, have had a negative impact on our students, our families, our teachers and our communities,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “On three separate occasions, the union and government reached tentative agreements that were rejected by the membership. We want the disruptions to students to end.”
The NSTU fired back today, saying members had no choice but to initiate the one-day walk-out.
“In the entire 122 year history of the NSTU, our members have never faced a more anti-education Premier than Stephen McNeil,” says Liette Doucet, the union’s president in a release. “The legislation he introduced yesterday limits teachers’ right to strike, erodes their ability to negotiate a fair contract and prevents them from advocating for reforms to improve learning conditions for their students. The result is the first province-wide teacher strike ever in Nova Scotia.”
According to Doucette, teachers will use the day to ensure government MLAs know the full impact of the McNeil government’s actions on Nova Scotia’s public education system and public sector workers in the province.
“We believe this legislation is unconstitutional and we owe it to our colleagues past, present and future to take this stand. Stephen McNeil says he wants to hear from teachers, so on Friday teachers will spend the day ensuring the Premier and his Liberal caucus get the message – his government’s bully tactics can no longer be tolerated.”
Once passed, the act will create a contract for members of the union which means they are no longer in a legal strike position.
As a result, the Chignecto Central Regional School Board sent out a notice informing parents and guardians classes would be cancelled.
SchoolsPlus programming as well as early year centres will also be impacted by the strike. However, community use of school facilities will go ahead as planned.
Should the situation change the school board vows to communicate as quickly as possible. Parents and guardians can continue to check the school board website at www.ccrsb.ca/nstu-labour-action-information, Facebook (www.facebook.com/ChignectoCRSB) and twitter (@CCRSB_Official) for updates.