Nova Scotia

No concerts, no meetings: what work-to-rule means for students and teachers

When it comes to work to rule, if it doesn't happen during class time it probably isn't going to happen.

No sports, field trips or any other kind of extra curricular activities will happen during job action.

Teachers and their supports have been holding rallies around the province at MLAs' offices. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

More than 9,000 teachers across the province will begin work-to-rule job action next Monday and it will likely have a big impact on students' activities outside the classroom.

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

So what does work to rule mean? In the simplest terms, it means teachers will show up just 20 minutes before the start of each school day, only do tasks related to classroom learning and leave 20 minutes after the end of each school day. The arrival and departure edict also applies to teachers with administrative duties.

No insurance means no sports

Extracurricular events such as Christmas concerts, field trips and sporting events will all be cancelled as of Dec. 5. In the case of the latter, an official with the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation said as long as work to rule is in place, the organization's insurance is null and void. That means no games, tournaments, exhibitions or even practices.

Union president Liette Doucet announced Monday her members would take job action in the form of work to rule starting next week. (CBC)

In addition, teachers were given the following instructions from their union:

  • Don't attend any meetings before school, during prep time, during lunch break or after school. Teachers can meet individually with parents or guardians if the teacher deems it necessary.
  • Don't participate in school breakfast programs unless it's for supervision during the 20 minutes before the start of the day.
  • Teachers aren't to go to their schools in the evening or on weekends.
  • Unless it's for a health and safety matter, teachers are not to update school or class websites or e-newsletters.
  • Extracurricular activities during school time will be cancelled.
  • Teachers won't plan or organize guest speakers or presentations, plan or organize fundraising activities or supervise students during lunch break.
  • No extra help will be offered before or after school or during lunchtime.
  • Paperwork required by the Education Department or school board will not be handed out and no data entry will be performed.
  • Teachers will not participate in professional development provided by the department or board other than mandatory first-aid and workplace safety training.
  • Teachers will not accept or supervise student teachers, fill out assessments from external agencies unless required by law or fill out forms or surveys from the department or board.
  • Teachers with tutoring businesses should not continue tutoring students.
  • Teachers with administrative duties aren't to organize professional development on in-service days, conduct walk-throughs in classrooms for observation of teachers or data gathering.
  • Teachers with administrative duties also aren't to participate in building maintenance and operations with board staff unless it's related to safety.
  • No participation in school advisory councils or parent group meetings unless it's required due to an appeal of student discipline.
Mobile users: View the document
(Text KB)
CBC is not responsible for 3rd party content