News brief: Nova Scotia’s health care workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement that includes annual wage increases into 2023 and contract language improvements. When the Statistics Canada estimated inflation rates over the period are taken into account most workers will be marginally less well off at the end of the contract.
The NSTU is calling on the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Derek Mombourquette, to reconsider cuts targeted at Halifax area high schools for next year.
Rather than scolding , the premier should take a hard look at the state of the province, and consider the damage done by decades of deadly penny pinching austerity and a paralyzing fear of offending employers.
Richard Starr looks at Stephen McNeil’s anti-labour legacy and sees little reason to think that there will be a fundamental reset under premier Iain Rankin.
Lenora Steele: “Listening dumbfounded to him allocate, from the public purse, $5-million in women’s venture capital I was staggered at the heartlessness, at the cheek, while just over here, yes, here, right here in front of us a woman sits on the side of her bed, a hospital phone in her hand calling a taxi to take her to a low-budget motel for the night. Her breast removed yesterday, she has no way home and must spend the night alone in Truro.”
For an out of town mother on income assistance taking a child to the IWK for tests or surgery, especially if it requires an overnight stay, is a logistical and financial nightmare. Meal allowances haven’t changed since 2008, and even then they were terribly inadequate.
School has started, but it’s not too late for governments to listen to the experts (teachers, medical professionals, parents) and make plans to transition to smaller classes now before a second wave hits us and forces us to shut down schools entirely, writes Molly Hurd.
Danny Cavanagh: Economic recovery cannot mean listening to the same old voices. These voices led us to an economy with a widening income and gender gap, heightening rates of poverty and homelessness, increasing violence and inequality, poorly underfunded and inadequate public and social services.
Larry Haiven asks how prepared our health care system was for the demands of the current COVID-19 pandemic. If a system runs close to emergency at the best of times, how can it respond to a real emergency? An emergency like COVID-19?
Last week (and well before last weekend’s mass shooting) we talked with NDP Leader Gary Burrill, about being a progressive party in opposition during a crisis, what COVID-19 reveals about the state of the province, and how to oppose the push for more austerity that will occur once the crisis is over.