Teachers not averse to job action
Contract that was legislated, rather than negotiated, will expire at the end of July
Nova Scotia teachers will start bargaining with the province for a new contract next year, and their union leader says he isn’t averse to taking job action and is even willing to take it further than teachers did two years ago.
“Job action is something that is provided for by the Canadian constitution. Teachers have the legal right to take job action,” said Paul Wozney, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU).
Wozney made the comments on the two-year anniversary of the province shutting down all public schools for a day. It was the government’s response to teachers working to rule over stalled contract negotiations.
“Obviously the government didn’t like the controversy that work-to-rule generated, and they basically have forced teachers into a position where if job action needs to be taken it would basically have to be a full-out walkout,” he said.
Ultimately, Nova Scotia teachers were legislated into a new agreement in 2017.
Education Minister Zach Churchill said he believes that the education system has changed significantly from the circumstances that led to the 2016-17 labour dispute.
“What I can say is there has been a lot that’s happened in the last two years from an education perspective. A lot of things have happened that I think teachers have been looking for,” Churchill said.
Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of Nova Scotia shutting down all public schools for a day after a work-to-rule job action by teachers. JEFF HARPER/STAR METRO FILE