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NSTU concerned about selection process for new education council

NSTU president Liette Doucet.
NSTU president Liette Doucet.

Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) president Liette Doucet is concerned about the selection process to determine which teachers will sit on the provincial Council to Improve Classroom Conditions.

In a media release Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Department of Education said it had received 779 applications from teachers interested in participating in the “cooperative initiative to improve the province’s teaching and student learning environment.”

The application deadline was Feb. 28. There are spots for nine teachers who'll be chosen from across Nova Scotia by school superintendents.

The initiative is part of Bill 75, which ended the teachers’ work-to-rule job action late last month. The panel’s co-chairs will include a representative from the province and one from the NSTU.

“We have serious concerns about the make-up of the Council. There is a strong possibility that the government will use it to co-opt and silence dissenting voices in an attempt to justify bad policies developed at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,” Doucet said in a media release Wednesday.

“Given that the government refused to reduce class sizes, limit data entry or provide greater support for students with special needs at the bargaining table for 18 months, it is unlikely to do so now.”

Doucet also expressed concerns the government has seven days to review the 779 applications.

“It’s hard to imagine how this process will be completed objectively,” she said. “As co-chairs we are also very concerned that the selection process was implemented without our input.”

The province said initial recommendations from the council are expected no later than April 28.

In a media release Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Department of Education said it had received 779 applications from teachers interested in participating in the “cooperative initiative to improve the province’s teaching and student learning environment.”

The application deadline was Feb. 28. There are spots for nine teachers who'll be chosen from across Nova Scotia by school superintendents.

The initiative is part of Bill 75, which ended the teachers’ work-to-rule job action late last month. The panel’s co-chairs will include a representative from the province and one from the NSTU.

“We have serious concerns about the make-up of the Council. There is a strong possibility that the government will use it to co-opt and silence dissenting voices in an attempt to justify bad policies developed at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,” Doucet said in a media release Wednesday.

“Given that the government refused to reduce class sizes, limit data entry or provide greater support for students with special needs at the bargaining table for 18 months, it is unlikely to do so now.”

Doucet also expressed concerns the government has seven days to review the 779 applications.

“It’s hard to imagine how this process will be completed objectively,” she said. “As co-chairs we are also very concerned that the selection process was implemented without our input.”

The province said initial recommendations from the council are expected no later than April 28.

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