House Leader Asks Opposition Parties To Support Teachers Bill

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:15 PM

Government is now hearing from the public on the bill to impose a contract on teachers.

But that process isn't moving fast enough for some.

During a media scrum Wednesday, Liberal House Leader Michel Samson pleaded with opposition party MLAs to support the bill.

Samson hopes to prevent teachers from going ahead with a planned one-day strike on Friday.

He says parents and students are tired of the teacher's job action.

"The last thing that parents want to see or the students want to see is not have any school on Friday because of a labour disruption."

Samson says the NDP and PC parties aren't working in the best interests of parents and students.

"I don't believe they fully appreciate the importance of this bill and the fact that we now have a proposed strike on Friday."

Samson says government is doing all they can to get kids back into the classroom and put an end to work-to-rule job action.

Meanwhile Rollie Hannem, president of the Yarmouth local of the NSTU sees much irony in what Samson said.

"The irony of telling the opposition that they don't see the importance of that bill just stands out to me. We have a government that doesn't see the importance of free bargaining. A government that doesn't see the importance of class composition."

PC leader Jamie Baillie says his party will have no part in pushing through the legislated contract.

"Quite frankly, we're fighting very hard to make sure that everyone who wants to speak about their actions on this bill gets a chance to do that. Michel Samson wants to shut them up, and I'm not going to be a part of that."

Baillie says tomorrow's strike action by teachers and union members is a great example of democracy in action.

He says he plans to be there so he can continue to hear directly from Nova Scotia teachers.

NDP leader Gary Burrill will be there too.

He agrees that the strike action is the only move left to the teachers union.

However Burrill says he'd be surprised to see the Liberals moved from their current course of action no matter how many people show up.

"I think they're in a position where no matter what anyone thinks they're going to plow this through."

Burrill says he wasn't surprised to hear Samson trying to silence oppositions parties.

He says that's completely in character with who the liberals have shown themselves to be.