News / Halifax

School sports in Nova Scotia brought to halt by teachers' job action: NSSAF

The upcoming work-to-rule action will impact more than 100 teams across N.S., according to the federation.

A baskeball

Metro file

A baskeball

Student athletes may have to hang up their uniforms as the Nova Scotia Teachers Union prepare for a work-to-rule job action Monday that would bring school sports to a screeching halt, says the executive director of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation.

Stephen Gallant says all school games, practices and events in Nova Scotia will be suspended after the province’s 9,300 unionized public school teachers plan to do the bare minimum of work required by their contract – meaning no extra-curricular activities.

“It’s unfortunate, but we don’t have a choice,” Gallant said. “It stops school sports.”

NSSAF is not like a private sports league, Gallant explained, the organization’s mission is to educate through sports, so without teachers and faculty, it isn’t insured to let kids participate in events.

Gallant predicted that “a significant number of students” could be affected by the mid-season interruption, including 30 hockey teams, 80 basketball teams and dozens of wrestlers.

Post-winter break, Gallant said several other sports seasons could be impacted as well, and the NSSAF is working out how to proceed depending on the duration of the job action.

“When it comes back, need to be ready to go,” said Gallant. “We have different scenarios we would need to work out for all of our sports. Do you just chop off games or do you make them up?”

Gallant said he’s received a few concerned phone calls from parents, but there’s not much the NSSAF can do but wait and see how the job action plays out.

“Everyone is concerned and would like to see a resolution to the situation,” he said.

Contract talks between the union and the provincial government fell apart Friday, a month after teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike, putting them in legal strike position as of Dec. 3 and the job action will start the following school day, Dec. 5.

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