Northside rally held in support of teachers
NSTU to vote on latest offer Wednesday
Hundreds of people braved Sunday’s chilly temperatures to attend a rally in support of Nova Scotia teachers.
With the wind chill dipping well into the minus teens, the warmly dressed crowd, consisting mostly of parents, students and teachers, gathered at the North Sydney Mall to show their support for the province’s 9,300 teachers, who have been on a work-to-rule campaign for all but one week since early December. The rank and file of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union has twice rejected contract agreements and will vote on the latest offer on Wednesday.
Event organizer Lisa Bond said the North Sydney rally was among several, including one in downtown Halifax, held across Nova Scotia to show teachers that the public is behind them.
“We’re telling them to do whatever they have to do and we’re saying do not be bullied into accepting a contract that’s not fair for them or the students,” said Bond, who has two sons, ages 12 and 10, in the local school system.
“The number of people here shows that the support is there — the media, at times, tries to put a spin on it that the teachers are losing support and they’re just not.”
The rally kicked off at 1 p.m. and featured a number of speakers, including Diane Power, presidentelect of the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations.
“This is not about money and wages — the real focus of this fight is about classroom conditions,” said the Boularderie resident, who has two children that attend local schools.
Between speakers, the crowd warmed up as they marched up and down nearby King Street where they received plenty of honks of support from passing motorists.
Back in the mall parking lot, Whitney Pier French immersion student Ella Bottomley held a sign showing her love for teachers.
“There are lots of kids in the classroom and there shouldn’t be as many as there are,” said Ella, who was joined at the rally by little sister Lily and grandmother Nancy Astephen.
While organized locally, the North Sydney rally was supported by the Nova Scotia Parents for Teachers, a 17,000-member group established last October.
The organization plans to continue showing its support for teachers with a social media campaign.
A couple of hundred people took to the streets of North Sydney on Sunday during a rally in support of Nova Scotia teachers. The afternoon event featured a number of speakers, who addressed the crowd from a podium set up in the back of a pick-up truck, and periodic marches along nearby King Street.
Students Ella and Lily Bottomley were joined by grandmother Nancy Astephen at a rally in support of Nova Scotia teachers that was held on Sunday in North Sydney. The rally attracted about 200 people, most carrying placards, who periodically marched along nearby King Street in the Northside community’s commercial district.