Friday, 19 July 2019

Paul Wozney: “The call for a collaborative working relationship by the government has been heard. Teachers have established a new corps of leaders who are prepared to forge a new, dynamic partnership. All that remains to be seen is whether the Liberals’ call for a fresh start is authentic or whether their talking points continue to hide a disdain for the rights for teachers and public education.”

“I am angry! I am outraged! But mostly, I feel cheated for myself and for my students; because we are being robbed of a sound educational system. A system that recognizes that all students function at different levels and at different speeds and they are not just a cookie cutout from the same cookie cutter. A system that embraces uniqueness. A system that is not perfect and needs changes but is far from deteriorating into the abysmal cesspool of incompetent teachers and substandard test scores that the Liberal government and Dr. Avis Glaze’s report would have the public believe.”

On February 20, Nova Scotia teachers will vote whether or not to engage in a strike to protest changes in the system of public education meant to remove elected school boards, further enfeeble the union and impose government control. Larry Haiven takes a closer look at that notion of an illegal strike. “Sometimes you just have to show that, as Mr. Bumble says in Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, “The law is a ass – a idiot.” It is not at all uncommon in Canadian labour history for workers to give that message to employers and the government,” he writes.

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.

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.”

Judy Haiven speaks at the Law Amendments Committee regarding Bill 75. “What does this Liberal government prioritise? Convention centres? Giveaways to the banks, giveaways to the Department of Business and Nova Scotia Business Inc, which dispenses millions in pay roll rebates and other breaks for business?”

Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director of Unifor, offers an exceptionally clear analysis of the teachers’ strike, what is driving Stephen McNeil, and what needs to be done to stop him. “We must be as relentless in our efforts as the Liberals have been in their attacks. And we must be extra vigilant in mobilizing, organizing and building solidarity. We simply have no choice.”