2015 Education Action Plan and Government Media Release
Dear School Board and Stock Transportation Members:
On January 29, 2015, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Education released her Action Plan for Education. This follows the release of the final report of the Minister’s Panel on Education on October 30, 2014.
For your information, you can click here to view and download a copy of the Minister’s media release about her Plan and a four-page highlights document. You can find the full Action Plan at: http://www.ednet.ns.ca/files/2015/Education_Action_Plan_2015_EN.pdf
The Minister says the Plan focuses on fundamental changes to improve and modernize the education system for the first time in a generation. It will consist of four pillars: “A Modern Education System,” “Innovative Curriculum,” “Inclusive School Environment,”and “Excellence in Teaching and Leadership.” By September 2015, some 21 changes are to be implemented or put in place. There are also 11 new frameworks or bodies to be established.
However, once again, we have a major report for public education making no reference, let alone, any recognition of your dedication and hard work as support staff for the public school system. This is especially disappointing, considering the Minister wrote back to me on December 17, 2014 to say: “I am aware of the crucial link that support staff serve in our schools and agree that the members you represent play a valuable role in the Nova Scotia education system.” On January 26, she again wrote back to say: “I am aware of and most grateful for the contributions made by support staff to the success of students and schools.” But even so, nothing was mentioned about support staff in her Action Plan.
In our response of December 15 to the Panel’s Report, we outlined a new. additional theme called “Support Services” to the seven suggested by the Panel, for which we made eight specific recommendations. They included re-establishing school libraries in every school with adequate staffing to operate full-time. We will continue to raise these points in any future communications about the Action Plan.
The Plan does promise “to clarify the roles and responsibilities of all partners in education for the implementation of the Action Plan” during 2015-16. But, at this point, we have not been informed if we or our members will be included, and how this clarification will take place.
The full title for this document is “Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education the 3Rs: Renew, Refocus, Rebuild.” From what the Plan says and what the Minister has been saying, we think it might be appropriate to add a fourth “R,” namely, “Restructure.” This is because the Minister has asked the Auditor General to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of School Boards. This could mean possible amalgamations of boards and their functions as is taking place with the District Health Authorities. In particular, they mention purchasing, payroll, finance, and transportation services.
So, while support staff are not specifically mentioned in the Plan, they could be directly or indirectly affected by the implementation of one or more parts of the Plan. The restructuring of the Boards could be a major one, for which the Minister was not shy about saying she might do. There could also be major changes for our members who work as teacher aids, educational assistants, or educational program assistants.
In addition, the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union is faced with 8 changes or “take-aways” on page 17 of the Plan for their collective agreement. This could mean major proposals for concessions at other tables such as those of our members this year.
We want to get your reactions, questions, or comments as soon as possible. Please contact Nicole McKim (Employee Relations Officer) or Ian Johnson (Servicing Coordinator/Policy Analyst) at 1-877-556-7438 (toll-free) or 902-424-4063 (HRM), or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your input and participation will be very important as this Plan is implemented.
Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union
November 22, 2023
The Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration (LSI) will be holding consultations across Nova Scotia to discuss both the Workers’...
November 22, 2023
Your bargaining committee met with the employer on Monday, November 20th to exchange proposals. A copy of the proposals can...
November 22, 2023
We are pleased to report that as of yesterday (Tuesday, November 21st) acute care collective agreements with Nova Scotia Health...
November 9, 2023
Since the Ratification of your collective agreement on September 13, 2023, your Employer has failed to provide us with a date...
November 8, 2023
One year ago today, members of the NSGEU who work in the South Shore Regional Centre for Education and the...
November 6, 2023
Health Care Bargaining Unit Essential Services Process Underway, Unions File Complaint with Labour Board
Your bargaining committee has begun preparations for bargaining for the Health Care bargaining unit. As a result of legislation passed...
October 20, 2023
Members of the Health Administrative Professionals bargaining unit have voted to accept a tentative agreement brought forward by their bargaining...
October 18, 2023
In response to the Nova Scotia Provincial Housing Agency’s application that all members of the newly formed Agency should be...
October 12, 2023
Late last night, your Council of Unions’ Bargaining Committee was able to reach a tentative agreement that they are recommending...