Date: March 1, 2018 For Release: Immediately Contact: Angela Murray
I want to begin by thanking teachers for their resolve over recent weeks, and parents, students and other community members for their tremendous support.
Teachers have been united in opposing changes outlined in the Glaze Report, and their collective voice has begun to open the eyes and ears of government to the challenges our students are facing. We are well aware of the short-term impact a strike would have on families, and while the government has done enough to avert job action, they still have much more to do to improve our public education system. We will hold them accountable.
A college of teachers and a central department of evaluations would have created more unnecessary bureaucracy and would have drained resources from our schools. It is positive those ideas have been rejected. Similarly, a province-wide seniority list would place rural communities as risk, so we are pleased that concept is now being reconsidered.
While administrators will keep their affiliation to the NSTU the collegial model is has been damaged and I fear this could bring more conflict to our schools. Teachers are also genuinely fearful of the chaos that the elimination of English school boards will bring to the entire system. This approach has not served our health care system well.
We do not support the legislation introduced today. It does nothing to benefit students, and it could bring chaos to our system. However, a strike will be averted.
I want to thank parents for their patience over recent weeks. I know this has been a stressful time. We were very aware of the impact a strike could have on families. It was a big part of our decision making process.
I hope after this experience, the Premier will appreciate the need to work with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and our members when making major reforms to the system. Much of this turmoil could have been avoided if the government has conducted a proper consultation around the recommendations contained the Glaze report. Something it should still do before anything is proclaimed.
As I have said before, what is most important to teachers is doing what is in the best interests of their students. We look forward to seeing the report on inclusive education in a few weeks time. We intend to hold the government accountable to ensure it takes the appropriate measures to improve our inclusive education model.