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Teachers ratify agreement

  • May 22, 2024
  • Published by NSTU1

(Halifax-Kjipuktuk, NS) Nova Scotia’s approximately 10,000 public school teachers have ratified a tentative agreement reached between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the provincial government on April 26, 2024.

“This agreement contains several important gains for teachers, and while it doesn’t address all the challenges our schools are facing, it is a fair agreement that serves as a solid stepping stone to future progress,” says NSTU president Ryan Lutes. “This would not have been possible without the strength and solidarity members demonstrated when they provided the bargaining team with an overwhelming strike mandate earlier this Spring.”

In a province-wide electronic vote held today, 91 per cent of NSTU members voted 80.5 per cent in favour of the deal. When compound interest is factored in, the contract gives teachers a salary increase of 11.47 per cent over three years retroactive to August 1 st , 2023.

Substitute teachers will also be receiving an additional 12 per cent salary increase and now require eight fewer consecutive days to qualify as a full-time teacher. Lutes says this will help address the teacher shortage.

“More work needs to be done to fix the retention and recruitment crisis facing our public schools, but providing substitutes with a more competitive salary is a step in the right direction. We look forward to continuing to work with Government on solutions to eliminating the teacher shortage moving forward,” says Lutes.

The agreement also includes an increase to the amount of time teachers are given for marking and preparation. Effective August 1, 2024, teachers will have a minimum of 15 per cent of instructional time for marking and preparation averaged over each semester/term. The number of school counsellors across the province will also be increased and the Province has guaranteed that neither class sizes or the instructional day will grow under this contract. The NSTU will continue the ongoing work of the Safe and Inclusive School’s Committee with the Province to address the issue of school violence.

The previous teachers’ contract expired on July 31, 2023. The Province and the NSTU engaged in collective bargaining for approximately 10 months and also required the assistance of a conciliator.