As of Wednesday, Nova Scotia’s principals and vice-principals are members of the Public School Administrators Association, a group created when the province’s Education Reform Act was passed earlier this year.
Bill 71 removed principals, vice-principals and senior supervisors from membership in the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU), though it gave them an option to remain within the NSTU if they returned to teaching.
The province says that only 24 of the 711 principals chose to return to the classroom — meaning 97 per cent of supervisors are now part of the Public School Administrators Association.
An interim board governing the association is now in place, with Tim Simony functioning as the chair.
Simony told Global News that the board has a lot of work ahead of it as it approaches the upcoming school year.
“I think the biggest challenge ahead of the membership is establishing what our identity is and the relationship and role it can play in the day-to-day lives of administrators in the province,” he said.
The Education Reform Act implemented reforms recommended in a report by education consultant Avis Glaze.
The Glaze Report was commissioned by the Liberal government in October 2017 and released in January 2018.
Bill 71 eliminated all of the province’s seven English language school boards, replacing them with a new Provincial Advisory Council of Education composed of 15 members representing all regions of the province.
The Acadian school board has remained intact.
The Education Reform Act faced a contentious and vocal response from the NSTU — at one point, the union had even voted to take illegal job action in the face of what they saw as “punishing” legislation.
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The newly created association will remain affiliated with the NSTU until 2019.
Simony says the details on what services will available and how much the association members will pay for them has yet to be determined.
The first permanent board will be chosen by the association’s membership at a meeting this fall.