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Annapolis Valley school support workers vote in favour of new contract, end strike

Click to play video: 'Parents joining educational assistants strike in southwestern Nova Scotia'
Parents joining educational assistants strike in southwestern Nova Scotia
It’s been a week into the strike by educational assistants and early childhood educators in the Annapolis Valley and the south shore of N.S., keeping many preprimary children and those with disabilities unable to attend school. Some parents pulled their children from class to walk to the picket line, to show their support for the workers who many say are like family. Amber Fryday reports. – Nov 1, 2022

About 600 school support workers in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley are ending their strike after accepting a new contract with a pay bump.

In a Tuesday night release, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) said 92.3 per cent of the workers voted in favour of a new tentative agreement that was recommended by their bargaining committee.

“That new agreement achieves what members were asking for: wage parity with workers doing the same job elsewhere in the province,” read the release.

NSGEU President Sandra Mullen said in the release this was a long-overdue breakthrough.

“In the face of unprecedented inflation, when many people are struggling to make ends meet, these workers stood together to demand what was right and fair, and together, they were able to achieve parity for their sector,” Mullen said.

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Read more: Parents, students join striking school workers in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley

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NSGEU issued a statement late Sunday saying the deal was reached after two days of bargaining with the help of a conciliator, and the vote was held Tuesday.

Pickets have ended, and the support workers were set to return to school Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 150 striking school support workers with the South Shore Regional Centre for Education were expected to return to the bargaining table as early as today.

The workers in the Annapolis Valley went on strike on Oct. 24, and those on the South Shore walked out on Oct. 25.

The striking workers include educational assistants, early childhood educators, student support workers and outreach workers.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

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