HALIFAX, NS--(Marketwired - October 04, 2016) - Nova Scotia's 9,000 public school teachers have voted to reject a second tentative agreement reached between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the provincial government since the opening of negotiations on September 29, 2015. In a province-wide electronic vote held today, 94 per cent of NSTU public school members voted 70 per cent against the tentative deal.
"Our public school members are highly engaged in the process of democracy and have used their voice in rejecting this tentative agreement," says NSTU president Liette Doucet. "It's clear that the improvements negotiated were not enough for our members, and the concerns of poor working conditions and not being valued as professionals influenced members as they voted against this agreement."
Doucet is worried about the implications this "no" vote has on Bill 148. "With the rejection of this tentative agreement, we fear that Government will finally proclaim Bill 148, which could affect all public sector workers," she adds.
As far as moving forward on the bargaining front, Doucet says, "We expect that the conciliator will now file a report that will state that the parties were unable to reach an agreement. We will meet with our provincial executive to explore our options under the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act. Looking at the option of seeking a strike vote from members will be one of our considerations."
Whatever the NSTU faces in the coming weeks, Doucet is confident that, "We will move forward and continue to advocate for public education and for teachers."
The current teachers' contract expired on July 31, 2015.
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents more than 10,000 public school teachers, Community College faculty and professional support staff in Nova Scotia, and teachers who work for the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Since 1895, it has worked to improve the quality of public education for children and youth in Nova Scotia, while promoting and advancing the teaching profession.