Nova Scotia students to stage classroom walkout Friday
Students in Nova Scotia are being asked to walk out of their classrooms Friday afternoon in support of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) amidst the ongoing dispute with the provincial government.
The Facebook group Students for Teachers is asking students across the province to leave their classes at 12:45 p.m. and host a sit-in or rally at their schools “in protest of Nova Scotia’s provincial government’s actions surrounding the ongoing teachers dispute.”
While the Halifax Regional School Board hasn’t said how these walkouts will impact student attendance, a statement from the Chignecto Central Regional School Board says any students who do walk out will be considered “absent without excuse.”
Students are also being asked to march to the legislature with the group Nova Scotia Parents for Teachers in support of teachers on Monday, Dec. 5.
Contract talks between the two sides broke off Friday, when the NSTU walked away from the bargaining table, claiming the government wasn’t willing to negotiate.
Hundreds of teachers, parents and students marched on the offices of five different MLAs last Friday in hopes of raising awareness of what teachers are fighting for.
Nova Scotia’s more than 9,000 public school teachers say they’re fighting for a wage increase, maintaining their long-service award, and for working conditions to be included in their contract.
The government said in a briefing on Monday the union left the negotiating table last week before talks could start in earnest on the union’s requests.
Numbers released by the province on Saturday say what the union is asking for would cost the government more than $500 million, compared to what the government is offering, which would cost taxpayers a total of $41 million.
Any agreement reached between teachers and government would cover years 2015-2019. Everything in that contract would be retroactive to 2015, however the $10 million on offer to address working conditions would be outside the contract, therefore would not be retroactive.
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