Province to sit down with union after teachers vote for strike action: minister
The NSTU says they have yet to make a decision on what job action could look like or when it would happen.
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The Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union has received a strong strike mandate, with 82.5 per cent of the province’s teachers voting in favour of illegal job action if necessary.
Union president Liette Doucet said on Wednesday that instead of announcing when job action might take place, the union was first inviting education minister Zach Churchill and the premier to meet and discuss the recommendations outlined in the Glaze Report.
They’re also asking the government to halt its implementation of the report’s 22 recommendations for education reform.
On Tuesday, 93 per cent of the province’s 10,000 eligible teachers cast ballots, with 82.5 per cent (about four in five of them) voting in favour of possible strike action.
“They made this decision knowing that they could face a loss of pay and heavy fines,” Doucet told reporters on Wednesday.
Doucet also said although the NSTU would give parents enough notice to make alternate child care arrangements ahead of any possible strike action, she couldn’t provide any specific timeline.
“The situation is moving quite quickly and we just want to make sure parents understand that we will give some notice,” she said.
“I can’t say whether it will be the 48 hours.”
Following the NSTU announcement, education minister Zach Churchill addressed reporters during a press conference. He repeated his stance that the status quo for education in Nova Scotia is not an option, and change is necessary.
He said his office had reached out to the union to set up a meeting following the NSTU announcement on Wednesday.
Churchill said he and the premier were both open to speaking with union members to discuss any solutions or ideas the union might have to ensure education reform needed to overcome many challenges.
“We need to have a meaningful conversation that takes into consideration the perspective of government, the objectives that we have to improve the education system, and talk about solutions to those challenges,” he told reporters.
“We are very open to having those conversation and I don’t want to preclude what the outcome of those conversations are going to be before I have them.”