November 21, 2016 10:55 am
Updated: November 21, 2016 3:47 pm

Teachers union, Nova Scotia government returning to contract talks today

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After weeks of deadlock between the Nova Scotia government and teachers union, the two sides are returning to talks Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Teacher’s strike looms as union and NS government no closer to a contract

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The two sides have had no contract talks since teachers rejected a second tentative agreement in early October. Since then, teachers have given their union a 96 per cent strike mandate.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union confirmed Monday morning that talks will go ahead this week but no other details were made available. The talks won’t necessarily push back a possible strike date for teachers.

READ MORE: Supreme Court ruling bolsters Nova Scotia teachers in contract dispute: union

A legally mandated cooling-off period, where no job action is allowed, expires on Dec. 3. The teachers union will have to give 48 hours notice for any job action meaning the first day a strike or work-to-rule could happen is on Dec. 5.

Working conditions, a cost of living wage increase and the long service award have been key sticking points for teachers throughout the contract dispute.

Last Thursday, Education Minister Karen Casey asked the labour department to restart conciliation and a government conciliator extended the offer to the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. The union agreed to talks but says a strike is still possible.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia minister suspends some assessments amidst teacher dispute

The two sides have been in a public relations war since the latest tentative agreement was rejected. The Nova Scotia Liberal Party launched a TV and online ad campaign and the union has launched a digital campaign of its own.

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