Nova Scotia

Cape Breton parents and students demonstrate in support of teachers

There were at least two demonstrations in Cape Breton Thursday to show support for teachers embroiled in a contract dispute with the province.

'The kids are falling through the cracks and the government won't listen,' says parent Lisa Bond

About a dozen parents and their children waved handmade signs in front of Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High school in Florence, N.S., on Thursday. (Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith/CBC)

There were at least two demonstrations in Cape Breton Thursday to show support for teachers embroiled in a contract dispute with the province.

About a dozen parents and their children waved handmade signs in front of Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High school in Florence.

Organizer Lisa Bond has two children in the school system and said there are too many students in her son's Grade 5 class at Florence Elementary.

"The classroom conditions are just unreasonable," she said. "The kids are falling through the cracks and the government won't listen."

Lisa Bond (centre) said both of her sons will miss out on certain activities because of the work-to-rule campaign, but she's still supporting the teachers. (Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith/CBC)

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union said its members will work-to-rule starting Dec. 5, which means they will perform only duties required by their contract and no more.

The move comes following the breakdown in contract talks between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the provincial government.

Premier Stephen McNeil has said the union's proposal is too expensive and unrealistic, while the union has accused the government of not taking workplace concerns seriously.

Bond said that as teachers begin the work-to-rule campaign, both of her sons will miss out on activities.

She said guitar and robotics clubs are some of their favourite things about school and they'll be put on hold.

'They believe in their teachers'

Parent Sherry Wiley of North Sydney came to show support and to be a role model for her children.

"Show my kids that it's important to stand up for what they believe in. They believe in their teachers," she said.

In nearby Sydney Mines, a group of Memorial High School students held an impromptu demonstration outside their school.

They chanted, "Our teachers are great. Let's negotiate," and, "Hey Ho, McNeil has got to go."

Grade 12 student Julia Snook said teachers cannot teach properly with large class sizes.

"What they want, Stephen McNeil will not give them," she said. "It's not right. It's not fair".

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