Premier’s per­for­mance needs an up­grade

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

Nova Sco­tia Premier Stephen McNeil claims that im­prov­ing ed­u­ca­tion is a per­sonal pri­or­ity of his, but he has no new money for ed­u­ca­tion. He claims his gov­ern­ment must be fis­cally re­spon­si­ble. But is he be­ing fru­gal in the run­ning of the prov­ince? Does he need three high­salaried com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­perts in his of­fice?

Is he care­ful to con­sider the ne­ces­sity of build­ing new schools in his con­stituency and the ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter’s con­stituency? These were listed at num­bers 26 and 28 on the provin­cial pri­or­ity list for nec­es­sary school con­struc­tion. I won­der how peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ties that were num­bered 1 to 25 feel about that?

It seems there is money avail­able but the premier has cho­sen to spend it on other things rather then a fair wage in­crease to over­worked teach­ers. Those same teach­ers want guar­an­tees of money put in place to im­prove a sys­tem that needs much re­pair. They are in Nova Sco­tia schools every day and they know what needs to be done. Vague prom­ises from a gov­ern­ment that they don’t trust are not good enough.

Teach­ers must go to univer­sity for six years to be qual­i­fied to work in Nova Sco­tia schools. This of­ten re­sults in many thou­sands of dol­lars in stu­dent loans that take many years to re­pay. How­ever, the start­ing salaries of new teach­ers in Nova Sco­tia are $51,000. Start­ing salaries for newly grad­u­ated Reg­is­tered nurses, an­other hard work­ing group of pro­fes­sion­als, are $63,000, with four years of univer­sity.

If I were giv­ing the premier a re­port card grade on his deal­ings with the Nova Sco­tia Teach­ers Union and other unions in Nova Sco­tia it would be a D, which means needs im­prove­ment. Greg MacIn­nis Syd­ney

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