Teachers Settlement a Fair Deal

April 19, 2013

NDP MLA Becky Kent says students, teachers and families can’t afford disruption and uncertainty at the hands of the Liberals and Conservatives as a result of their second-class treatment of teachers and poor management of teaching contracts. 

Kent said a recent contract settlement with the province’s 9,300 public school teachers is a fair deal for teachers and the province and mirrors wage settlements reached across the public sector.

This arrangement is fair for teachers, who are so critically important in our education system, and fair to taxpayers said Kent. She pointed out that teachers and all other public sector workers recently agreed to contracts which constrained wages to one per cent a year for two years.

“The Conservatives agreed to six consecutive years of wage increases from 2.9 to five per cent,” said Kent. “The NDP negotiated one per cent wage increases, the lowest agreed-to settlements in Nova Scotia since at least the 1970s. Those two one per cent settlements alone continue to save the province $200 million a year each and every year when compared to Conservative settlements.”

The latest settlement of 2, 2.5 and 3 per cent remains well below the Conservative wage increases. In fact, at the conclusion of the agreement, it will save the province another $65 million every year compared to the Conservative pattern of 2.9 per cent.

Kent pointed out the last Liberals broke teachers’ contracts, accelerated school closures and forced 1400 teachers out of our schools.

“The Liberals imposed a 3 per cent wage roll back, forced people to stay home from work without pay and spent tens of millions to get nurses and teachers to leave their profession,” said Kent. “Nova Scotia is starting to turn the corner because the NDP is making respect for teachers and good management part of a better future for Nova Scotia families.”