Ready To Teach: N.S. teachers document empty classrooms on social media
Ms. Allen, a teacher at Eastern Shore District High School, documents her empty dance class on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (@MzzzAllen/Twitter)
Many Nova Scotia teachers took to social media on Monday, documenting their empty classrooms with the hashtag #ReadyToTeach.
Classes were cancelled Monday for all students at public schools across Nova Scotia. Teachers were allowed into the schools, but students were kept out after the provincial Liberals announced the closures Saturday.
Teachers across the province posted photos of empty classrooms, school hallways, cafeterias and gymnasiums on social media.
Education Minister Karen Casey had previously said schools could be closed for up to a week, depending on the passage of a bill that would impose a contract on the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, which represents 9,300 educators in the province.
Casey said the closures were needed to ensure student safety, citing risks posed by the union’s work-to-rule job action which took effect Monday.
However, Casey confirmed Monday afternoon that the safety issues had been resolved, and that classes would reopen to students Tuesday morning.
The NSTU has directed its members to do the minimum amount of work required under the current agreement, which includes arriving at school 20 minutes before classes begin and leaving 20 minutes after they end.
Contract negotiations between the province and the NSTU fell apart Nov. 25 after the sides agreed to meet with a conciliator following failed attempts to convene a conciliation board and to take the dispute to mediation.
The union membership has twice rejected a contract offer that the union executive recommended, and voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike.
With files from The Canadian Press