A former local union leader takes a swipe at the NSTU.
This third attempt to reach a collective agreement between the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union (NSTU) and the provincial government is turning into a real gong show.
It is apparent that both sides are agreeing to a deal while at the bargaining table. However, neither side seems to know exactly what it will take to actually conclude an acceptable agreement.
Now as much as I like to attack the provincial government, I find myself in some ways sympathizing with them throughout this process. From their perspective they are reaching a deal that is acceptable to the union leadership who also agreed to recommend it and two others to their membership.
As a former negotiator I know the difficulties of negotiations and, in particular, when facing a hostile employer. But when you bargain with this employer and you reach a tentative agreement you must be satisfied that this is the best deal on the table.
The NSTU has reached that position three times now only to be shut down by its own members. I can see this happening maybe once but three times!
This tells me that the NSTU leadership has no idea what it is their members want and, worse than that, they don’t have the capability of getting the deal.
I think it’s time for the membership to replace the leadership of their union, elect new negotiators and give them a clear and precise mandate. I feel sorry for the president of this union but it’s clear she has lost the confidence of her members and now it’s time to put the members first.
To the teachers out there, get off your asses and get this issue done or else set a strike deadline. It’s time to stop using the students as your pawns and take control of your contract negotiations with this employer.
If the Liberal government is the problem, then show the public what your concerns are and formulate a better plan of attack that deals with your issues. Complacency is a dangerous thing and I think this is one of the problems that your union faces that has brought you to this point.
The old saying that a union is only as strong as its members is a proven fact. Make your union strong again by securing strong leadership and taking a active role in both your future and the future of our education in our province. Good luck.
“To the teachers out there, get off your asses and get this issue done or else set a strike date.”
D. Victor Tomiczek Retired Director CAW Dominion
This letter is directed to the members of the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union.
You have articulated over and over the great harm and depth of the issues our children are subjected to. You have stated you will no longer be a party to these grave injustices. You have pronounced you have the answers for our children.
Well, you also have the power. You must show leadership to create these needed changes.
First you need to look inside as individuals and begin to make changes in your own house. You have a union executive you don’t trust, don’t want and certainly don’t listen to. Deal with it.
You are now presenting an image of a group that is paid the same for less work at school, less work at home and no extracurricular involvement, all of which equals less time with your main responsibility. You are now making our children your most important priority for just 5-6 hours a day, much less time than what it should be.
If the public is to trust what you say than you now need to lead. Show the intestinal fortitude as a group and stop using our children as a pawn. Stand up and be leaders in a fight you understand all too well. I think you will be surprised how you will feel and the support you will receive.
A strike is no fun, but that is where you find yourselves.
Barry Brewer Glace Bay