Nearly 83 percent of teachers from across Nova Scotia have voted in favour of illegal strike action, yet no action will be taken…yet. The Teachers’ Union President, Liette Doucet says that 93% of teachers voted Tuesday, but Doucet wants to have a meeting first:
She says if the union decides to take some kind of job action it will give parents enough notice to make alternate arrangements for their children, but she isn’t saying how much time that will be. The teachers’ union is not in a legal strike position, and Doucet said Wednesday they have not yet decided what form the strike action of its 9,300 members could take. Education Minister Zach Churchill says he wants to schedule further talks, but adds he has no interest in pausing reforms he wants in place by the fall.
Nova Scotia’s Education Minister says it is too early to hypothesize on next week’s teacher’s union strike vote, but he believes it will hurt the students. Zach Churchill made these comments a day after the Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced a strike vote for next week.
Churchill, who is travelling the province to hear from educators and administrators says that any disruption to classes ultimately affect the students, and he hopes not to see that. Churchill can understand why there is frustration, however:
This comes less than a month after Educational Consultant Avis Glaze made 22 recommendations to the province’s education system, including removal of 1,000 principals and vice-principals from the NSTU.
A large public rally was held as Nova Scotia Teachers Union members and supporters gathered outside MLA Randy Delorey’s office Wednesday. The members were standing in protest to the new contract that is being legislated by the Liberal government. The rally was held after the NSTU announced that teachers will walk off the job Friday for a one day strike; the first in the 122 year history of the union.
The four-year contract being legislated is a combination of three rejected tentative agreements. The President of the NSTU’s Antigonish local, Amanda Marchand, says frustration has been boiling over throughout the province. She hopes rallies around the province and the Friday strike will send a strong message to Premiere Stephen MacNeil:
Marchand says this has been a hard week for the teachers, but the outpouring of public support has helped the morale throughout the union.