Nova Scotia teachers fight to weigh in on bill to end contract dispute

By on February 12, 2017

HALIFAX –The Nova Scotia Teachers Union says its 9,300 members should have their say when the legislature reconvenes to push through a resolution to the ongoing contract dispute.

Premier Stephen McNeil is recalling the house for an emergency session Monday evening “to bring an end” to the standoff between the province and its public school teachers.

Union president Liette Doucet released a statement Sunday that said teachers “who are having their rights taken away” deserve a chance to weigh in when a legislature committee debates amendments to whatever bill the government brings forward.

Doucet said if the Liberal government is going to pass legislation “restricting” the collective bargaining rights of teachers, then it should at least have the “patience and courtesy” to let them participate in the process.

McNeil issued a statement Saturday that said after three failed tentative agreements it is clear that negotiations have reached “an impasse” and said legislature is needed to pass a bill that would “bring an end to this dispute as soon as possible.”

The move came two days after the teachers rejected the province’s latest contract offer on Thursday.

The teachers most recent contract expired in July, 2015 and negotiations have dragged on for more than a year.

The teachers have been in a legal strike position since Dec. 5, after voting 96 per cent in favour of strike action