CUPE NS is calling out the McNeil Government and Minister of Education Karen Casey for their mishandling of negotiations with members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. “There was no safety threat to students at any time and it is appalling to see how far the Liberals are willing to go to blame others for their failings, including union members,” says CUPE NS President Nan McFadgen.

“The Liberals raised safety concerns even at the expense of educational teaching assistants, who are CUPE members,” says Grant Dart, CUPE school board coordinator. “Despite insinuations made by the Liberal Party, CUPE’s educational teaching assistants, and in fact all our members that work as support staff, will continue to perform their jobs as always and place the safety of students first.”

“Shame on the McNeil Government for not listening to parents, students, teachers and union members. Their thoughtless actions caused considerable upset and frustration to thousands of Nova Scotia families,” says McFadgen.

“We’re glad to see that schools will reopen today, but after listening to Minister Casey try to cover tracks yesterday afternoon, we know this is far from over,” says McFadgen.

“She’s playing the blame game and she won’t win. The teachers’ union acted responsibly when they planned their work-to-rule action and they communicated their plans well in advance, allowing the Province to make arrangements.”

“Nova Scotians are understandably fed up. And why shouldn’t they be?” asks McFadgen. “Their government only gave them a day and a half notice to prepare when they announced they would lock their children out of their schools.”

“To add insult to injury, neither the Premier nor the Minister were present at the legislative session yesterday morning. That is unacceptable. Finally Minster Casey spoke to the media, briefly, and fled before answering all questions from reporters.”

“The McNeil Government is embarrassing our province. Let’s show this Liberal Government the door and build a province we can all be proud to call home.”