I sent something out on Friday on this topic, but felt the message was worth repeating.
Many of you have already decided that you will be supporting the “Yes” vote. For some, however, I know the decision is much more difficult. Considering the potential ramifications, the talk of fines, and potential loss of pay, the idea of embarking on a second strike in less than a year is frightening, to say the least.
Then there is the question of effectiveness. We did this last year, and, for some, little has changed. The government went ahead and did what it wanted, passing legislation even as teachers chanted outside of Province House. So, some argue, what is the point?
Well, for my money, that is rather exactly the point. If the Glaze report gets adopted as is currently being proposed, this government will be taking us down an educational path that it seems nobody wants us to go down. Almost every single stakeholder in this fight has come out against the unilateral adoption of Glaze. The Nova Scotia School Boards Association. The Black Educators Association. Equal Voice Nova Scotia. All of these organizations have expressed concern. That alone has some precedent to it. It seems that the only body which feels this move by the government is a good idea is, well, the government.
And something about that feels very, very wrong.
There are many issues with the Glaze report and the choice of which recommendations to implement. Teachers find themselves again on the front line of this fight, asking that government simply pause long enough to consult with us, or anybody for that matter, in a meaningful way on the proposed changes. That we have to threaten a strike to achieve that speaks volumes.
At the end of the day, if you still need a particular reason to vote “Yes”, I will repeat my message from Friday. The government, by enacting the 11 recommendations it is proposing, is reaching into our contract and changing terms without our consent. If we allow them to do that without at least a fight, then nothing in the contract is safe. Period.
We must do everything we can to force the government to reconsider its position. A strong strike mandate is one of our greatest weapons to that end.
I urge you to share this sentiment with every NSTU member, and to vote “Yes” today.