Thursday, 30 March 2017
Education featured Labour

What you can do to support Nova Scotia’s teachers

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Legislature is now scheduled to begin sitting at 8 PM tomorrow (Tuesday evening) for the First Reading of Stephen McNeil’s anti-union bill attacking the Charter-protected right of teachers across the province.

This legislation has wide-ranging implications for all workers in Nova Scotia, not just teachers, but especially civil servants and others employed directly by the provincial government and health boards.

Teachers rally in Lower Sackville.Photo Robert Devet

 What you can do

There are concrete and specific things that you can do to support the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union and their members against this unconstitutional attack on Collective Bargaining.

  1. RALLY TUESDAY February 14th at 7:30PM — The “Students For Teachers” group has now re-scheduled their planned rally for this Tuesday at 7:30pm.
  2. LAW AMENDMENTS COMMITTEE HEARINGS — All Nova Scotians have the right to appear in front of the Law Amendments Committee to speak for five minutes with respect to a Bill.

It is crucial that hundreds of people sign up to do so.

To register for Law Amendments, call the Legislative Counsel Office at 902-424-8941 or email legc.office@novascotia.ca.

Tell them you want to be registered to speak at Law Amendments hearings “with respect to any Bill with reference to the Nova Scotia Teachers Union”.

Please encourage all union members, parents, supporters and allies to also register for Law Amendments.

  1. Call, email and write letters to the Premier and your MLA expressing your opposition to this legislation.
  2. Be prepared for a long week ahead, running into early next week. As we learned with Bill 30, Bill 37, Bill 1 and Bill 148, if the opposition parties put up any fight at all and filibuster the Bill (which both opposition parties have said they will do), it will NOW likely be Monday at the earliest (and could continue beyond that) before this new anti-worker legislation will pass third reading in the Legislature.

In keeping with their practice in prior anti-union Bills, the Stephen McNeil Liberal government will keep the Legislature in session nearly 24-hours-a-day for the next several days for both Legislative sessions to debate the bill as it moves through the first reading, second reading & third reading process as well as the Law Amendments Committee process.

Expect at least a few overnight sittings of the Legislature, including a likely overnight sitting Monday night / Tuesday morning which is expected to begin at 12:01am Wednesday morning after the Tuesday evening session is adjourned.

For a clear understanding of what is likely to be the Legislative agenda at Province House for this week, see CBC Nova Scotia reporter Michael Gorman’s article where he describes the process here:

We need to ensure that the Legislature’s gallery is packed and that there are people rallying and making noise outside throughout all sittings of the Legislature this week.

Tuesday’s rally will be only the first of many rallies taking place at the Legislature this week.

Please ask union members, their families, allies and supporters to make every effort to be at the Legislature (in the gallery or rallying outside) throughout the week at any time when the Legislature is sitting, including overnight sittings.

If allies are coming into Halifax in the days ahead for meetings or personal trips, they should make plans to go to the Legislature to rally outside at least briefly while they are in town.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is now making plans for a Federation-sponsored rally which is likely to take place on Thursday.

The Cape Breton District Labour Council has now organized a rally in Cape Breton for Noon on Friday at Liberal MLA Dave Wilton’s office in New Waterford.

Stay tuned for announcements of further organized mass rallies beyond this evening.

  1. Rallies are needed at other backbench Liberal MLA offices across Nova Scotia. You are highly encouraged to organize small rallies outside the offices of backbench Liberal MLA’s throughout this week, this coming weekend, and as late as Monday.

The attack on Nova Scotia’s teachers is an attack on the entire labour movement.

If Stephen McNeil can and will impose a contract on the teachers that they will not democratically ratify in a vote, they will not hesitate to do the same for any worker.

Let’s stand up this week and be clear that we will not accept this attack on Charter-protected union rights.

See you on Tuesday evening at the Legislature!

Updated February 13, 4:00 PM.

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