33-17 vote on bill that im­posed con­tract

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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