Labour Federation and education unions talk strategy

By Joan Wark
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The unions representing thousands of workers in the Nova Scotia education sector met with Nova Scotia Federation of Labour President Danny Cavanagh yesterday.

Union representatives denounced the government’s actions to move ahead with the implementation of the Glaze Report and were unanimous in their support of the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union (NSTU) plan to take a strike vote. Unions affiliated to the Federation have begun to send out messages supporting the teachers.

Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union (NSGEU), the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union (NSTU), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) all have members working in the education sector.

Cavanagh says up to this point the discussion has mainly evolved around teachers and their bargaining unit composition, but there are many other complications involved with dismantling school boards, which employ thousands of workers in Nova Scotia.

The Premier and Education Minister have not been able to answer the many questions that have come up since the release of the Glaze Report. Next week, the unions will be making announcements on how this will affect their members and our communities.

“One concern is around centralization of administration and the possibility of moving towards hand-picked people by the Liberals.

“There is little trust in what the Liberals say today will be the truth. It was December 6, 2007, when our Premier stood in the house of assembly and delivered an eloquent speech on the obligation of governments to protect public services and the rights of workers,” says Cavanagh.

The Premier even ran a newspaper ad swearing to uphold collective bargaining and we know today that he did not live up to his word, so why should we trust him today? Given the disaster in our healthcare that we know all too well, we cannot trust this government’s word.

“Our kids and their education are not worth the risk,” says Cavanagh.


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