News / Halifax

Halifax students say they're left in the dark on work-to-rule, set to walk

Some Halifax students say they aren't sure how they'll be affected by the campaign, while others are concerned for marks and sports teams.

Citadel High students (from left) Jack Dewolf, Khaled Jad and Cian Tousignant-O'Siadhail speak about the impending job action outside school on Monday

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Citadel High students (from left) Jack Dewolf, Khaled Jad and Cian Tousignant-O'Siadhail speak about the impending job action outside school on Monday

In the escalating standoff between the provincial government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, both parties have claimed they’re looking out for students’ learning – but as 9,300 educators prepare for a work-to-rule job action next week, students at Citadel High School feel like they’ve been kept in the dark.

Grade 11 student Jack Dewolf said he doesn’t know much about the contract negotiations, but he was under the impression that it may mean a month-long break from school, perhaps even looking forward to it.

The 16-year-old was dismayed to find out that instead, some of the more enjoyable parts of school, like field trips and extracurricular activities, would be suspended as the NSTU and Province House battle it out over … something.

“I don’t think it will affect me much,” said Dewolf. “I’ll sort of just go to school and do what I do usually.”

As university application deadlines loom, Cian Tousignant-O'Siadhail, a 17-year-old student in Grade 12, expressed concerned about his marks, saying it could “be hard to catch up” before exams depending on how long the strike drags out.

Tousignant-O'Siadhail, a championship soccer player, said cutting practice could be “really bad” for the school’s sports team and hurt students who want extra help at lunch.

“I think if it does anything it will bring more negativity than positivity,” said Tousignant-O'Siadhail. “Hopefully, they can sort it out as quickly as possible.”

Khaled Jad, 16, in Grade 11 was familiar with the brushstrokes of the union-government dispute, but like many Nova Scotians, he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was at stake.

“Is it about the students’ future or the wage gap?” Jad asked. “It’s great if they’re fighting for (students) … I honestly don’t know if they’re having a problem with their wages, so I guess I can’t comment on that."

For some, the upcoming action is a chance to show solidarity with educators.

The Students for Teachers group is planning a student walk-out on Friday just before 1 p.m. in protest of the “provincial government's actions surrounding the ongoing teachers dispute.” As of Monday over 300 students said they were attending throughout the province.

“Please join us in showing our support and solidarity for our teachers, and standing up for our education,” the event reads.

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