ontario news watch

Nova Scotia Teachers Union will focus on deal after overwhelming strike mandate

HALIFAX — The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union says the overwhelming strike mandate it received from members is a message to the provincial government to get serious at the bargaining table.

Ryan Lutes says the fact that 98 per cent of members who voted on Thursday supported a potential strike shows teachers have no confidence in the government’s handling of public education.

Lutes told reporters today that while the focus of his 10,000-member union is on getting a deal, the government has to be a willing partner that’s serious about addressing teacher priorities.

The union says it needs more engagement from the province on issues such as school violence, teacher retention and more pay for substitute teachers.

Both sides have been in negotiations since last June, and two days of talks with a conciliator are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Education Minister Becky Druhan has referred to the strike vote as a “distraction,” but she has also said she’s optimistic a fair deal can be reached through bargaining.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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