The Nova Scotia Teachers Union is resuming its work-to-rule job action on Monday, Jan. 30, according to a release issued Jan. 27.
The union said the decision was made following comments made by Stephen McNeil in the media Jan. 26.
According to the union, the premier indicated that teachers would not have discretion in using two days outlined in the tentative agreement. The union states that this contradicts documents the NSTU received during the bargaining process.
“Teachers go into their classrooms every day in their vocation to create good citizens to have integrity and trust,” Doucet said. “Teachers don’t have faith in the premier. They don’t trust him to do what’s in the best
Doucet said the premier has demonstrated he is incapable of bargaining in good faith.
“The premier is already backing away from commitments made in the new tentative agreement. If the premier is capable of misleading our members about two self-directed development days, then he is capable of misleading parents about the $20 million outlined in the deal to improve classroom conditions.”
Doucet said that teachers want government to make needed investments to improve classroom conditions.
“That’s why they are taking this stand. During work-to-rule, teachers will continue to go to work, prepared to do what’s best for children,” she said.
Speaking at a press conference in Greenwich, McNeil said his government had "attempted to satisfy the teachers union demands while maintaining oversight on a challenging overall provincial budget."
Grade 12 student Rohit Kochhar of Sydney says he wonders if the union may have backed away from their work-to-rule campaign a little too early.
“I think personally that it was a really bad move on the union to actually come out of work-to-rule before the contract was accepted,” he said on Friday afternoon, adding that more drastic action may have to be taken if the matter is to be resolved soon.
“I think at this point a full strike would be easier to support because it would make more of an impact and hopefully resolve the issue faster,” said Kochhar, the head boy at Sydney Academy. “Work-to-rule took too long already. Most of the students, what we’re saying is that a full strike would resolve the issue.
“Teachers deserve their right to be heard and everything – the government should find a good contract for them – but as a student, I am just hoping this finishes as soon as possible.”
School boards react
The Tri-County Regional School Board had been corresponding with parents through emails and through its website throughout the week after work to rule was lifted, to inform parents about the transition process. On Friday, TCRSB interim superintendent Jim Gunn said, "While under work to rule, procedures had been worked out between regional office and the schools and these were to remain in place until further notice while sufficient time was taken to plan and make the transition from WTR. We made real progress with principals last week in starting to make the transition. Whether under work-to-rule or in the transition period, delivering the educational programs and student services to our students will remain as our top priority.”
“What it means longer term, we don’t know that yet,” she said. “Lots of schools had resumed school sport or after-school activities. Obviously with the work-to-rule coming back into place we are presuming it will be the same as before and all those things will stop again.”