Nova Scotia teachers were legislated back to work by a controversial bill that passed Feb. 21.
While teachers and supporters protested outside, Liberal government MLAs all voted in favour while all opposition members voted against the controversial Bill 75, which was the subject of marathon sessions that spanned more than a week.
The legislation imposed a pay increase of three per cent over four years and created committees to review inclusive education, classroom conditions and workplace concerns. It also ended a work-to-rule job action that began in early December.
Prior to passing the bill, the government announced that it will spend an additional $3.4 million on services and programs ranging from class trips to uniforms for school sports teams and travel costs related to tournaments.
Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union president Liette Doucet responded to the government’s moves by saying teachers feel betrayed and that the bill erodes a fair collective bargaining process.
“Teachers, students and parents who have been fighting for better education want to know why the premier chose not to use this money to reduce class sizes or provide greater support for students with special needs,” Doucet said. “This decision does nothing to address the significant problems currently facing our system.” ❚