Nfld. & Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador teachers union says dump education minister

Citing the ongoing dispute between Kirby and union president Jim Dinn, the NLTA said in a statement Monday afternoon that it had "lost all confidence," in the minister, and said its executive had taken a vote to call for his replacement.

NLTA says Education Minister has attempted to undermine the union

Citing the ongoing dispute between Kirby and union president Jim Dinn, the NLTA said in a statement Monday afternoon that it had "lost all confidence," in the minister, and said its executive had taken a vote to call for his replacement. (CBC)

The union representing teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador has asked the provincial government to fire Education Minister Dale Kirby.

Citing the ongoing dispute between Kirby and union president Jim Dinn, the NLTA said in a statement Monday afternoon that it had "lost all confidence," in the minister, and said its executive had taken a vote to call for his replacement.

The NLTA charges that Kirby has been making "inaccurate and offensive" statements about Dinn, and says the minister has refused to set the record straight.

"Minister Kirby's initial comments and subsequent refusal to respond are not actions befitting a Minister of the Crown," the NLTA said in a press release.

In September — responding to criticism from the NLTA about 'scrounging' advice given to teachers — Kirby said the teacher's union had been "petty," and the suggested the criticism stemmed from Dinn's opposition to full-day kindergarten. 

The day after, the NLTA accused Kirby of "peddling in falsehoods." Now, the union says Kirby is not answering its letters, and claims he's setting out to undermine the union.

"[Kirby] has violated both the Premier's mandate letter and the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Assembly," the NLTA says.

When reached Tuesday morning, communications officials with the Department of Education said Kirby was not commenting the on calls for him to step down.

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