Par­ents group stick­ing by teach­ers

Rally or­ga­nized for Sun­day

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON/PROVINCE - BY METRO NEWS STAFF

Work-to-rule may be wear­ing down fam­i­lies and teach­ers alike, but one group of par­ents says that’s how it’s sup­posed to be — and their sup­port for ed­u­ca­tors “hasn’t gone away.”

With job ac­tion re­sum­ing this week and teach­ers across Nova Sco­tia ex­press­ing frus­tra­tion with a ten­ta­tive deal they say doesn’t ad­dress the class­room re­sources needed, Kate Ervine said it’s “more im­por­tant than ever” to stand be­hind teach­ers in the labour bat­tle.

“I to­tally un­der­stand, I’m a par­ent too, but work to rule is dif­fi­cult. It’s sup­posed to be dif­fi­cult, and I think that short­term pain for the long-term fu­ture of our chil­dren in the prov­ince is what is mo­ti­vat­ing a lot of par­ents,” Ervine, spokesper­son for Nova Sco­tia Par­ents for Teach­ers said this week.

The group’s Face­book page has been a space for dis­cus­sions and points around whether work-to-rule is nec­es­sary and the ten­ta­tive agree­ment, but Ervine said the more than 17,000 mem­bers haven’t dropped off.

Ervine said the level of sup­port for teach­ers “hasn’t re­ally gone away” and although there’s some that have ques­tions and aren’t con­vinced that work-to-rule is the best way for­ward, most see that class­room con­di­tions are “re­ally at is­sue here.”

“There’s some real prob­lems and there’s real re­source short­ages and our stu­dents, our chil­dren, are suf­fer­ing,” Ervine said.

Ervine and other group mem­bers have or­ga­nized a pub­lic rally on Sun­day in Grand Pa­rade from 1-4 p.m., which she said is im­por­tant to show the gov­ern­ment “we’re still here.”

With a rat­i­fi­ca­tion vote for the agree­ment com­ing next Wed­nes­day, Ervine said it’s up to teach­ers to de­cide one way or the other what they think about the deal, but it doesn’t seem like the “fun­da­men­tal is­sues” are be­ing ad­dressed when there’s only talk of a com­mis­sion be­ing struck to look at is­sues.

To those who say teach­ers should take the deal be­cause it’s likely the best they could get with the Lib­er­als say­ing they won’t move from their po­si­tion, Ervine said it’s a tough po­si­tion for teach­ers to be in but “this gov­ern­ment isn’t in power for­ever.”

“There’s an elec­tion com­ing up and per­haps it’s also about chang­ing the con­di­tions of de­ci­sion-mak­ing in the prov­ince,” she said.

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