Mediation best solution to settle dispute

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OP-ED, KAREN CASEY

We have all watched with interest during the month of January the negotiations between Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3890 and the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.

As the Minister of Education I have viewed this through a lens that focused on students.

The decision that was made to have the two sides resume negotiations came directly from the Premier. It was his leadership and the cooperation from the two sides involved that saw this impasse come to an end. Our Government respects the collective bargaining process and recognized that appointing a mediator would allow the two sides to move forward through that process.

I want to thank both CUPE Local 3890 and the school board for agreeing to work with the mediator to help resolve outstanding issues in their collective agreement. I also want to thank parents for dealing with the inconvenience caused by no school bus transportation.

The decision by the Premier also allowed students to be back in school and not have their educational opportunities negatively impacted by the CUPE strike. The strike put many parents and students at a distinct disadvantage when school bus transportation was taken away. The timing of the strike was also disruptive as it coincided with high school examinations.

Premier McNeil and the Liberal Government have identified education as a priority. We acted immediately when the strike began. We appointed a mediator and brought the two sides together. As the minister of education I will continue to demonstrate our position to make education a priority.

Tagline: Karen Casey has served as minister of education and early childhood development and minister responsible for youth since October 2013. She is a Liberal MLA serving the riding of Colchester North.

Organizations: CUPE

Geographic location: Colchester North

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