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October 8, 2020
Settlement reached to restore union rights of Education Specialists
The NSTU has reached a settlement agreement with the province that restores the union rights of school psychologists, speech language pathologists (SLPs) and social workers. As a result, the government has dropped its judicial review into Arbitrator Eric Slone’s previous award on this matter.
Under the agreement, all specialists working in Nova Scotia’s public school system will again become NSTU members, retroactive to their date of hire. While the majority of specialists will remain 10-month positions that coincide with the instructional year, 30 per cent will become 12- month positions able to provide service during the summer months. The Office of Teacher Certification will once again begin providing specialist certificates to those who qualify.
“I’m pleased that specialists can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this matter is behind them. I want to commend them for their patience and professionalism under very stressful circumstances. It’s because of their advocacy that we were able to reach a positive solution,” says NSTU president Paul Wozney. “The NSTU is always willing to engage in good faith processes with government to realize improvements to the public education system that benefit students and families while upholding the rights of NSTU members; this agreement demonstrates that government and union can do so despite past conflict.”
Under the settlement the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development agrees that the remedies awarded by Arbitrator Slone in November of 2019 still apply, and must make all reasonable efforts to resolve any issues and accommodate the affected specialists.