33-17 vote on bill that imposed contract
government need to work together to bring about changes and improvements to the education system.
“We aren’t going to give up the fight for better education,” the NSTU tweeted.
While the bill means no strike action, including work- to- rule, can occur, Doucet said teachers will still decide for themselves what they will be willing to do when it comes to duties and volunteer tasks that go beyond what is included in their contract.
Education Minister Karen Casey said the legislation will be good for the education system.
“During negotiations, at Law Amendments, in our offices and on the streets we have all heard many concerns expressed by teachers about classroom conditions, their workload and the need for supports and resources,” Casey said. “Bill 75 includes an approach to improving classroom conditions that … for the first time has classroom teachers, government and the union sitting down and working together to both inform and direct change.”
The government made only one minor amendment to the bill to allow for an arbitrator if an unresolved dispute arises through the to-be-formed Council to Improve Classroom Conditions.
Premier Stephen McNeil said the council will give teachers direct input on how $20 million is invested to improve classrooms. Nine teachers will be part of the council.
Opposition party leaders’ don’t like the bill or the government’s approach.
“Instead of productive discussions on improving classroom conditions, the McNeil Liberals have insulted, offended and undermined teachers, students, and parents who are crying out for help,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.
PC Leader Jamie Baillie called it “a sad day for our province, our children and our democracy.”
Both opposition parties have vowed the repeal the legislation if in power after the next election.