Friday, 19 July 2019

NSTU president Paul Wozney: “As August ticks towards September, Nova Scotians would be wise to remember that 2018-2019 is yet another year of system-wide uncertainty in public schools where the truly vulnerable are not only students and teachers. For the first time, with no end in sight, administrators are squarely in the crosshairs of ill-planned change that put them, schools and quality of education at risk.”

Danny Cavanagh, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, looks ahead at some of the challenges in 2018, from improving workers’ safety to the Fight for 15 and meeting the challenges of the anti-union provincial Liberals. “We encourage you think critically about things and not be so fast to buy into the same old sound bites that we hear over and over. Things have not gotten better for workers in the same way they have for the corporate elite in our country. Having workers who toil to earn those profits get a little bigger share of the wealth isn’t a lot to ask,” he writes.  

The new collective agreement for provincial civil servants decided by an Arbitration Board is not the victory the labour movement claims it is, writes Larry Haiven. At the end of the contract workers will be earning less than they are now, how much less will depend on the inflation rate. And that’s not taking into account the freezing (and removal for new employees) of the “long-service award.

Seven unions will file to be added to the partial review of Bill 148 by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal initiated by the Nova Scotia government. This was the announcement at this morning’s joint news conference, that also served to push back on the government’s narrative on the legislation.

Larry Haiven on Bill 148:| “Unions and collective bargaining and, yes, strikes, are part of the price we all pay for living in a democracy, convenient or not. Bill 148 takes us back to the dark ages and workers, again, will have to take matters into their own hands.”

Liette Doucet, president of the NSTU, on the current pre-election spending spree by premier McNeil: “After years of watching our schools deteriorate in the name of fiscal restraint, this new found spending largesse is another betrayal of trust. To teachers it also appears as though the government is funding its pre-election campaign at their expense–and their students’ expense.”

For days and weeks the Nova Scotia Teachers Union dominated the headlines. But after the government imposed a new contract all that disappeared. What actually happened? Why did it matter? What’s next? We met with Larry Haiven, an expert in Nova Scotia labour relations and co-founder of the Parents for Teachers Facebook group, to ponder these three questions. “This is not your grandfather’s labour movement anymore.”