Nova Scotia

Union advises teachers to brace for 'personal disputes' during work-to-rule

The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union is urging members to "stay strong and united" and "avoid personal disputes" after reinstating work-to-rule job action.

'We are all anxious about what the coming week may bring,' NSTU president says

Nova Scotia Teacher's Union president Liette Doucet has accused Premier Stephen McNeil of not being committed to the recent tentative agreement. (CBC)

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union sent out a letter Sunday urging its 9,300 members to stay united and "avoid getting into personal disputes" in the coming days after reinstating work-to-rule job action.

"I know the sudden change in direction has created uncertainty. We are all anxious about what the coming week may bring," union president Liette Doucet said in the letter.

"We need to stay strong and we need to stay #NSTUnited."

She blamed the job action on Premier Stephen McNeil, whom she accused of trying to "cherry pick articles of the contract for political purposes when he sees fit, he's clearly not committed to the deal."

Doucet urged teachers to remain outspoken on social media and contact MLAs to voice their opinions. 

"It is, however, important we remain positive and avoid getting into personal disputes with those that do not share our purpose. That does nothing to help our cause," she said.

'They will try and divide us'

The union announced Friday afternoon teachers would resume work-to-rule Monday. It said the premier reneged on a section of a tentative agreement reached earlier this month involving two extra days of leave.

The contract describes the two days of leave with pay as "self-directed preparation/development of the teacher," for which "teachers will not be required to provide reasons." McNeil later said that time is intended for marking and class preparation time.

"That means there is no guarantee his government will keep its promise to invest $20 million into classrooms over the next two years. That's why we need to continue our stand," Doucet said.

"They will try and divide us. They will try and distract us. But we can't let them."