Information Notice for Parents & Guardians: Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development

CCRCE News: 
Friday, December 2, 2016

Strike Action by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU)

December 1, 2016

The province and the NSTU met last week to resume negotiations to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The meetings took place after the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development invited the NSTU to return to the bargaining table. The NSTU walked away from the table on the second day.

The Union announced it will take strike action beginning Monday December 5. It has provided its members with an extensive list of directives as to what not-to-do during job action. The list includes withdrawal of both voluntary duties and duties that are part of their formal job description. 

The following information is being provided to explain how the NSTU strike will impact your child’s education and their school.

Who is part of the NSTU and will be part of the strike action? 
The NSTU members who will participate in the strike action includes classroom teachers, principals, vice-principals, speech language pathologists, school psychologists, school board consultants and guidance counselors.

What will the strike action involve? 
The NSTU has advised that teachers will continue to carry out their instructional duties in classrooms with students; focusing on teaching students in a safe learning environment, preparing and implementing lesson plans and maintaining contact with parents/guardians of students who are at risk and/or have special needs. The NSTU has directed their members not to do specific tasks including, but not limited to: 

  • Teachers will arrive 20 minutes before school and leave 20 minutes after school
  • Teachers will not communicate on school matters (including with parents) outside the instructional day
  • Teachers will not collect money or organize fundraising activities with students
  • Teachers will not enter information in PowerSchool or TIENET, including information regarding attendance and assessments
  • Teachers will not fi ll out assessment and diagnostic instruments from external agencies unless required by law
  • Teachers will not administer Department or Board assessments.
  • Teachers will not support or participate in extra-curricular activities
  • Teachers will not update school or class websites or e-newsletters
  • Teachers will not attend staff meetings, program planning or student success meetings
  • Teachers will not participate in professional development provided by the Department or School Board
  • Teachers will not provide extra help to students before or after school or over lunch
  • Teachers will not accept or supervise student teachers
  • School based administrators will not participate in School Advisory Council or parent group meetings unless due to an appeal of student discipline
  • School based administrators will not conduct walk-throughs in classrooms for observation of teachers
  • Teachers and school based administrators will not attend meetings with Board and Department staff 

Will holiday concerts continue? 
Unfortunately, the list of directives from the NSTU to its members for activities starting December 5th and onwards advises them not “to plan, participate in, supervise or facilitate extracurricular activities including holiday concerts whether scheduled during the school day or not.”

What about lunch time supervision and breakfast programs? 
Now that schools and school boards know what type of strike the NSTU will take, they are now working to see what can be done to continue both lunch time supervision and breakfast programs. You are encouraged to carefully monitor your school boards’ communications through websites, Facebook, social media, and through regular media outlets for ongoing updates.

How can I fi nd out more about negotiations between the province and the NSTU including the offers from both parties? 
The province is committed to continue to do everything it can to find a resolution as quickly as possible.

For more information on proposals from the province and the NSTU

How can I find out more about how my child will be impacted at school? 
You are encouraged to carefully monitor your school boards’ communications through websites, Facebook, social media, and through regular media outlets. The NSTU has advised that they could change their form of strike action at any time. Your school boards will notify you as soon as they are made aware of any potential interruption in the school day. It is important to note that they may have short notice.

We understand that any job action that impacts students can cause concerns for families. We will continue to make you aware of information as it becomes available.