NSGEU School Board Support Staff Facing the Unknown

On January 25, 2018, NSGEU President Jason MacLean wrote the Minister of Education regarding the lack of information flowing to frontline workers at provincial school boards about what the future holds.

“To date there has been no response.  We have had some anecdotal information passed along but that info is either started or ended with the lines, “But things could change…”, said MacLean.  “That’s not enough and the biggest issue for my members is the unknown.”

The NSGEU represents school support staff in the HRSB, the SSRSB, CSAP, AVRSB, CCRSB, and TCRSB and pensions and benefits vary from board to board.  Some boards are in the PSSP, two boards run their pensions in house, HRSB is through the HRM plan and others are in a plan run by the Nova Scotia School Board Association.  The changes prescribed by the Glaze Report make no mention on how pensions and benefits will be handled.

“It’s apparent that Premier McNeil and Minister Churchill are going to ram whatever legislation they need through in the session set to begin on February 27, 2018 regardless of the impacts,” said MacLean.  “My members are concerned because of the unknown.  NSGEU members were not consulted then and haven’t been since.  I strongly urge all Liberal MLAs to talk to the Minister and their Premier.  Tell them to pause.  Tell them to read page 41 of their report:

‘Systems often fall short of achieving their goals because they do not spend adequate time on thinking through and planning for successful implementation in order to embed the changes into the fabric of the organization. The systems that achieve their goals are those that give focused attention to the task of translating visions and recommendations into actual, concrete actions. They engage in the necessary planning and deep implementation.’  Setting the Bar, Page 41.  https://www.ednet.ns.ca/sites/default/files/docs/raisethebar-en.pdf

“There has not been adequate time spent thinking this through. And there has been no engagement with those most impacted. The NSGEU agrees change is needed, but it has to be change that helps students achieve greater success – not just fighting with unions. That approach has sent health care into crisis and will do the same in our classrooms,” says MacLean.  “The NSGEU is ready and willing to help make things better.  We just need a government willing to be an active partner.”

School support staff are a critical link in the provincial education system. They include: Educational Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Library Staff, Student Supervisors, Outreach Workers, Student Support Workers and Native Student Advisors, School Bus Drivers, Mechanics, Monitors, Central Office Clerks, IT Support Specialists, Early Childhood Educators, & Cafeteria Workers.

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