Support staff to Churchill: “We’re an integral part of the Nova Scotia education system too”

“CUPE is asking Minister Churchill to meet to discuss the path this government is taking based on the Report on Inclusion released yesterday. CUPE wants to ensure that our members’ needs are met, while continuing to provide the best environment for learning for the students,” says Nan McFadgen, president of CUPE Nova Scotia.

“We see that other unions were consulted on these recommendations and changes. What about the 4,000 plus support workers in eight school boards that CUPE represents?” asks McFadgen. “They are the hard-working front-line employees that carry out this inclusion work, and that keep our schools operating in a safe, clean and efficient manner that is conducive to learning.”

“We have questions about our individual collective agreements, held with the soon-to-be-dissolved school boards, and now we see changes that will affect our educational assistants, teaching assistants and community outreach workers – that we were not consulted on,” says Grant Dart, CUPE school board coordinator. “With several of our locals currently engaged in collective bargaining, this restructuring continues to create significant uncertainty around what the workplace will look like for school board support staff.”

“A meeting was scheduled for March 20 with Education Minister Zach Churchill and all of the unions. However, his office cancelled at the last minute,” says McFadgen. “It is discouraging that the government refuses to talk to CUPE. Once again, we have sent a letter to the minister and we look forward to getting some answers.”

CUPE Nova Scotia represents workers in front line jobs that include, education assistants/teaching assistants; facility operators; secretaries; school bus drivers; mechanics; caretakers, custodians, building specialists; janitors; maintenance workers; librarians and library assistants; cafeteria workers; community outreach workers; tradespersons; lunch ground supervisors; early childhood educators.