Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia government, teachers to resume contract talks

Contract talks will resume Monday between the provincial government and Nova Scotia Teachers Union, with both sides agreeing to abide by a media blackout.

A day after reaching an impasse, the two sides will meet again Monday

Contract talks between the provincial government and Nova Scotia Teachers Union will resume Monday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Officials with the provincial government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union will resume contract talks on Monday.

A day after the two sides reached an impasse, which cancelled talks that were scheduled for Sunday, the union announced in a news release they would meet with a conciliation officer again beginning Monday.

Both sides have agreed to a media blackout until this new round of talks is concluded, however it is unclear how long the talks are scheduled to go or which side approached the other about getting back together.

In a nod to the blackout, neither side was offering any other comment Sunday.

"We remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement," government spokeswoman Heather Fairbairn said via email.

Long negotiations

This is the latest development in a contract negotiation that has spanned well over a year.

After rejecting two tentative agreements, both of which were recommended by the union executive, teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action and last month began a work-to-rule campaign.

The job action sees teachers working to the letter of their contract and not doing extras such as coaching sports, organizing extracurricular activities, writing references letters for students or offering extra help to students.

Teachers arrive at school 20 minutes before the start of the day and leave 20 minutes after the final bell.

Criticism of work-to-rule

The job action has rubbed some people the wrong way.

Some parents have been critical of the impact it is having on students with special needs and a decision by the union to permit members to go ahead with previously arranged out-of-province conferences.

There is also mounting concern about the possible implications for education students, who are unable to do placements in classrooms.

The impact of no school sports has been felt from the cancellation of major tournaments and the loss of rental time at community facilities. In the absence of any school sports, leagues for basketball and hockey are being organized. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Gorman is a reporter in Nova Scotia whose coverage areas include Province House, rural communities, and health care. Contact him with story ideas at michael.gorman@cbc.ca

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