October 26, 2016 11:51 am
Updated: October 31, 2016 9:56 am

Early support for Nova Scotia teachers after strike mandate vote

WATCH ABOVE: Teachers in Nova Scotia voted 96 per cent in favour of a strike vote. In spite of the possible disruption to classes, parents at St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary say they are sympathizing with the teachers. Global's legislative reporter Marieke Walsh explains their stance and the government's response.


Some parents in Halifax are showing their support for their childrens’ teachers, after 96 per cent of Nova Scotia teachers voted Tuesday in favour of a strike mandate.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia teachers vote in favour of strike mandate

“It’s their right. I think they are entitled to do whatever they please, it’s the whole point of a union,” Krista Tilley said Wednesday morning.

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“I always sympathize with the teachers because they are doing a job I absolutely couldn’t do.”

Another parent told Global News that teachers “are the voice of our kids,” adding she hopes the situation doesn’t result in teachers walking off the job.

All of the province’s teachers 9,300 cast their vote, as well as many substitute teachers, Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union (NSTU) president Liette Doucet told reporters Tuesday night.

“If it’s 96 per cent then there is something fundamentally wrong with the province’s offer,” said Roderick Affleck.

“I am 100 per cent in support of the teachers and the province needs to come up with a better deal because the children are incredibly important to the future of this province and we need to do everything we can to make sure the education that they receive is the best possible.”

Doucet said the vote “sends a strong message to the government that the NSTU membership is united and we are looking for solutions.”

The “yes” vote comes after months of failed negotiations and the rejection of two tentative agreements from teachers.

A vote in favour of a strike mandate doesn’t necessarily mean teachers will be walking out of classrooms. They have several options including rotating strikes and work-to-rule campaigns.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia government has been ‘fair’ to teachers: Stephen McNeil

Work-to-rule means teachers wouldn’t perform tasks and duties not included in their contracts, like supervising extra curricular activities.

Because of a 44-day cooling off period, which began on Oct. 18, teachers can’t take any job action until Dec. 3.

“I stand with the them if that’s what they feel strongly about. It’s what they need to do,” parent Patricia Callahan said.

“For a long time the teachers were underpaid for everything that they do.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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