"First, the Premier of this province made a mess out of our health care system, and now, he's moved on to meddle with our public education system and is locking kids out of their own schools." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (05 Dec. 2016) — On December 3, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees' (NSGEU/NUPGE) learned that the Liberal government is continuing its unjust crusade against public sector workers in the province. The government will be introducing yet another piece of legislation designed to undermine the collective bargaining process and force government's will upon public sector workers.
This is the sixth time Premier McNeil has proven he has absolutely no ability to work with people, and has instead resorted to the heavy-handed hammer of legislation so he can get his way without compromising (see Bills 30, 37, 1, 100 and 148). This behaviour is bullying, pure and simple. Premier McNeil has single-handedly destroyed the province's ability to deal fairly with any of its public servants.
Nova Scotia government closes schools, locking students out
The provincial government is bargaining with teachers across the province. Both parties are frustrated with the lack of movement in negotiations. The Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) has issued a work-to-rule campaign where teachers would work core teaching responsibilites, but not before and after school or lunch time supervision. Teachers will also not take on the duties of "teacher-in-charge" on days where the principal is absent. Teachers will arrive 20 minutes prior to the start of school and remain for 20 minutes after school.
In reaction to the union's actions, the government decided on December 3 to shut down schools starting on December 5, citing school safety as its reason. The decision left parents scrambling to find care for their children with only a day's notice. The government has announced that it will pass legislation to force an agreement on the teachers.
Not the first time McNeil government has tried to impose contracts
"First, the Premier of this province made a mess out of our health care system, and now, he's moved on to meddle with our public education system and is locking kids out of their own schools," said Jason MacLean, President of NSGEU.
"We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to oppose Stephen McNeil's ongoing assault against public sector workers' rights," said MacLean.
In a statement from the union, it says, "In the coming days,we may be forced to ask our members to take unprecedented action against this government. We are asking all 31,000 of our members to be prepared to stand up when the time comes."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE