Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Premier blocks return to bargaining table

Opinion

To the Editor:

In 2013, the McNeil Liberals campaigned on investing in education.
Move ahead three years and Nova Scotia is facing the first teacher’s strike in the history of this province.

I continue to believe that if government engages and listens to classroom teachers, this will give our students the best opportunity for success.

McNeil’s Liberals continue to tell the public they want to meet and listen to teachers.

The NSTU requested going to conciliation. Premier McNeil rejected this meeting.

In the meantime, McNeil’s Liberals launched a campaign ad program.

The ad shows happy teachers and smiling children. It turns out those photos were taken by an Estonian photographer.

The premier is using photos from Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, instead of using a picture ad from Nova Scotia’s classrooms.
The advertisement featured stock imagery and the ad was done by an out of province vendor.

The NSTU, once again, attempted to bring both sides back to the bargaining table through mediation.

McNeil’s Liberal government rejected this second request.
Instead they decided to put provincial assessments on hold because they are taking too much time away from teaching and learning.
This does not include junior and senior high school provincial assessments. They will continue.

It should be noted that grades one through four and grade six provincial assessments have been completed and student learning has already been disrupted.

They have not cancelled the assessments that are upcoming.
If the Liberal government was truly interested in education, they would accept the NSTU request and return to the bargaining table; however, it appears to me that the Liberal government wish to see the teachers strike. They continue to block any effort from the teachers union to return to the bargaining table.

Pat Dunn
MLA Pictou Centre

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