Valley school workers to vote on deal and South Shore returns to bargaining

A group of striking workers walk a picket line outside. The are holding blue and white signs.
Striking workers walk a picket line in Liverpool. Photo courtesy of Susan MacLeod.
Ed Halverson - QCCR/CJQC - LiverpoolNS | 08-11-2022
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Striking school workers could be back on the job by Thursday.

After two days of bargaining a deal was reached between representatives of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) and the Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education. The union is recommending members take the offer but are not releasing details of the tentative agreement until workers see it first at their meeting tonight.

Workers from two school districts, the Annapolis Valley and South Shore have been on strike for over a week demanding workers doing the same job are paid the same wage regardless of where they live in the province.

NSGEU President Sandra Mullen says union members have done a good job bringing Nova Scotians to their side by explaining they’re looking for basic fairness.

In fact, when walking the line in Liverpool she spoke with five teenage boys who saw first-hand how school life is impacted by the workers absence.

“I said do you miss these folks being in the school and they said Oh my God, we're on the line with these guys this is great, and yes we miss you because they don't know how to do anything. They’re messing up the buzzers and they’re messing up. So, when you have five teenage boys missing the folks that support them in that school they know that these people are who support the students every day and so I mark that as pretty clear that folks know what's going on and what it's about,” said Mullen.

Representatives for workers and the South Shore Regional Centre for Education will return to the bargaining table today.

Because the strike from both unions was about getting wage parity across the province, it is safe to assume negotiators representing NSGEU Local 70 will be looking for the same deal the valley workers are voting on this evening.

If bargaining goes well, and members can arrange a vote, school support workers from both regions could be back on the job ahead of Remembrance Day, Nov. 11.

Twitter: @edwardhalverson

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