Striking while they're hot: Glaze report furor leads to planned strike vote by Nova Scotia teachers
The vote comes as a response to the Glaze report, which recommends axing elected school boards and taking principals out of the teachers union.
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An hour after the Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced plans to hold a strike vote, about 100 concerned parents and teachers gathered to talk education at a public meeting in Lower Sackville on Tuesday night.
They were there to discuss the Glaze Report, the reason the NSTU is citing for its decision to hold next Tuesday’s strike vote.
While a teachers’ strike wasn’t the topic of the meeting, the event’s co-organizer and NSTU provincial executive member Crystal Isert said serious concerns about the report left teachers with little choice but to hold a strike vote.
Isert is also a teacher at Leslie Thomas Junior High in Lower Sackville.
“This is bad and teachers think that this is bad, and they’re willing to strike over it. That’s huge. Teachers don’t want to strike and they don’t choose to strike lightly,” Isert said in an interview before the meeting.
“It’s a humongous decision. The fact that this is a decision that has been made by teachers let’s the government know that we see this as a bad thing.”
The NSTU’s provincial executive has approved a strike vote for Tuesday, Feb. 20.
“Our education system is once again under attack from the McNeil government. Last week we held information sessions around the province to discuss what the Glaze report will mean for our students, our classrooms and our profession,” NSTU president Liette Doucet said in a media release announcing the strike vote decision.
“It was clear NSTU members agree the situation is dire and that as teachers and administrators we need to stand up for public education.”
The report by consultant Avis Glaze makes 22 recommendations.
They include the removal of principals and vice-principals from the union and the creation of a provincial college of educators to license, govern, discipline and regulate the teaching profession.
Another contentious recommendation is a call for the elimination of the province's seven English-language school boards.
“Teachers absolutely have been talking about this. These changes that are being proposed by the Glaze Report and the recommendations in it, teachers see them as a downhill slope for education,” Isert said.
“They are very concerned about what these changes will look like in the classroom and about the impact it will have on education.”