News / Halifax

Teachers in Nova Scotia walking away from committee to improve classroom conditions

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union says it is upset at the province over not being consulted on the Glaze Report.

A crowd rallies in Grand Parade last winter for an event organized by the group Parents for Teachers.

Staff / Metro

A crowd rallies in Grand Parade last winter for an event organized by the group Parents for Teachers.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union is withdrawing its participation on the provincial government’s Council to Improve Classroom Conditions.

In a media release issued Friday, NSTU president Liette Doucet said the move was a result of the Nova Scotia government’s failure to consult with the union on the Glaze Report.

In the statement, Doucet said she’s upset with the minister of education and early childhood development’s “quick response in adopting a report that clearly contradicts well-researched information on introducing whole system change.”

Doucet said some of the recommendations found in the Glaze report “significantly impacts the work of the council.” As an example, she points to assessment being independent of the department.

She did express appreciation and thanked council members for their work aimed at helping improve classroom conditions for teachers and students.

“By implementing the Glaze report, the current government has decided to bring division and distraction to an education system already battered by Bill 75,” she said.

“Had government lived up to its obligations to the Council, it would have learned that pushing forward with these changes is not in the best interests of students.”

Less than half an hour later, the provincial government had sent out its own statement.

"I am disappointed. The council has achieved great progress on behalf of teachers and students in Nova Scotia," Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill is quoted as saying.

Churchill outlined some of the changes put in place as a result of the council's work. He said those included, among other things, implementation of a provincewide attendance policy and class caps being established sooner than anticipated for junior and senior classes.

"I am concerned about lost opportunities to make things better for our teachers and students," Churchill is quoted as saying.

"The council is a venue by which we can hear from teachers directly. The council was allocated $20 million in funds and has $9.8 million remaining to spend in 2018-19. We want to work with council members to spend those dollars to improve our classrooms."

Churchill also said that on behalf of government, he wanted to extend his hand in partnership to classroom teachers throughout the province.

"We remain committed to the goals of the council, on behalf of teachers and students," he said.

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