Zann hopes strike is short-lived

January 28, 2014

(Truro, NS) Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA Lenore Zann is hopeful a strike at Chignecto-Central Regional School Board will soon be over. However, Zann says if the strike continues Minister of Education Karen Casey has a responsibility to ensure the impact of the strike is minimized for families in Cumberland, Colchester and Pictou counties.

“Parents and guardians of 17,000 students who regularly use the bus to attend 76 different schools in our region are scrambling to make alternate arrangements. Last week I suggested that alternate options should be explored and announced earlier by the Minister of Education to reduce the burden of the strike on families in our school board region,” said Zann. “That didn’t happen.”

“We have a number of students living in rural areas. For many families it’s not so easy to pay for that extra tank of fuel to get back and forth to school and I’ve been contacted by some parents who don’t own cars. What happens to their children – especially with exams beginning today?”

Zann asks, “Will make-up dates for missed exams be offered?”

Zann says the strike isn’t only impacting students taking the bus.

“The school board has also adjusted the opening and closing times of schools which means students who might have been dropped off early or picked up later are without a place to go. It’s not just about inconvenience, it’s about safety,” said Zann.

Zann says while it is important that plans are put in place to manage strikes, she hopes the collective bargaining process is respected.

“We need to keep in mind as a progressive society that workers’ needs are also important. These are our friends and neighbours. They are the ones who work hard to keep our children safe on their rides back and forth to school as well as keeping our schools neat and clean.”

Zann says she hopes an agreement can be reached soon so that things can return to normal, “Because when all is said and done, it is all about the children.”