Nova Scotia to close all schools because student safety can’t be ensured after teachers take job action

Dec 4, 2016 by

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is closing all its schools Monday as teachers prepare to take job action over failed contract negotiations.

The provincial education minister told reporters Saturday that it cannot ensure students’ safety under the Nova Scotia Teacher Union’s planned work-to-rule job action.

“The safety of our students is paramount in all of this,” Karen Casey said. “What we’re saying to parents is that we recognize that this will be an inconvenience in the short-term, but we believe that the responsibility to ensure that their students are safe is a priority and we will err on the side of that.”

The union representing 9,300 public school educators has directed staff to go to school 20 minutes before class begins and leave 20 minutes after it ends.

Casey said after consultations with school board officials, the Liberal provincial government determined that the job actions proposed by the NSTU could “put our students in an unsafe environment.” She cited concerns about students being stranded in schoolyards, unsupervised in classrooms and children with special needs arriving on buses and getting to class without teacher assistance.

Casey said the province plans to bring forward legislation that will brings students back to school “as quickly as possible.” The legislation will impose the tentative agreement reached by the province and the teachers union in September as an NSTU contract through July 2019. If passed, the legislation would make strike action illegal.

Source: Nova Scotia to close all schools because student safety can’t be ensured after teachers take job action | National Post

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