On Feb. 14, government introduced the Teachers' Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvement Act. When passed, this legislation will create a four-year contract for members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, and the union will no longer be in a legal strike position.
The bill establishes the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, composed of classroom teachers and representatives from the union and government, and invests $20 million over two years to address issues in the classroom.
Current class caps will be maintained for grades Primary to 6. Class sizes, at all levels, will be addressed by the council.
A three-person Commission on Inclusive Education will also be established. The commission will be launched within 30 days of the bill being passed. It must return with an interim report by June 30 to allow for initial implementation in the upcoming school year.
In addition, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will issue directives to superintendents and school boards reinforcing that there are to be no, "no-fail" policies, and to immediately begin engagement on and implementation of an attendance policy.
The bill provides a wage pattern for teachers which remains at three per cent increase over four years. Newer teachers will continue to receive step increases of up to five per cent per year. Retirement bonuses will be frozen and based on the salary a teacher makes upon retirement.
For more information about these items, visit http://novascotia.ca/psc/public-service-sustainability-mandate (Note, this information is only available in English).