The province’s teachers have voted 96 percent in favour of going on strike. The strike mandate comes after teachers rejected two tentative contract offers from the province. Teachers Union President Liette Doucette says almost every teacher cast a ballot in the strike vote. She adds teachers are looking for a fair wage increase, more quality time with students, and better working conditions. Doucette also says teachers don’t want a strike but adds they’ll go on strike if they have to. They’ll be in a legal strike position on December 3rd. Meanwhile, Education Minister Karen Casey says the outcome of the vote is a disappointment for parents and students as well as for government. She adds classes have been capped, more teachers have been hired and there's been more invested to increase support for students struggling with math and reading.
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A Glace Bay man convicted of assaulting an 18-month old child is due back in court today to be sentenced. 30 year-old Donald Richard McGrath was found guilty of aggravated assault in August. McGrath committed the crime in Glace Bay between May and October of 2014. The child’s name is banned from publication. It was first taken to hospital in Glace Bay before later being airlifted to the IWK hospital in Halifax. Its injuries included hemorrhages in both eyes, a brain hemorrhage, a swollen and torn liver, five compression fractures to the spine and multiple bruising. A specialist told the court the injuries were caused by severe shaking or blows to the body, or a combination of the two. McGrath has been released on conditions to await today’s sentencing.
The province’s 9-thousand teachers are holding a strike vote, today. The move comes after 70 percent of teachers who cast ballots voted to reject a second tentative contract offer, earlier this month. Teacher’s Union President Liette Doucet says they’re looking for a strong strike mandate from their members. A 44-day countdown for teachers to give a 48-hour strike notice began last Wednesday after a conciliator filed a report on the contract dispute. Despite the strike vote, the union has accepted a request from the province to move ahead with plans to address teacher’s workplace concerns. The union says that’s one of the main outstanding issues for teachers who feel a contract proposal to set up a committee on working conditions didn’t have any teeth. Polls in the strike vote are open until 8:00 tonight and results are expected around 9:00.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has turned down a proposal to turn George D. Lewis School into a hub school. The rejection means the Louisbourg school will close at the end of this school year. The Board agreed to look at the hub school proposal even though George D. Lewis was one of 17 schools slated to close. The hub school model sees parts of the school building rented out to community groups or government agencies. But Board Chair Lorne Green says the Louisbourg group’s task was setup for failure from the beginning because the Education Department hasn’t given a lot of thought to its hub school guidelines. The Board hired Deloitte Incorporated to provide an independent review of the Louisbourg proposal. It found the proposal didn’t satisfy the requirement to demonstrate financial sustainability over a five to ten-year period and didn’t include firm funding commitments from potential tenants, donors or government agencies. Meanwhile, George D. Lewis Hub School Society spokesperson Brett Hanham says they’ll now meet to discuss their next move.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has voted to reverse its decision to change the name of Greenfield Elementary to New Waterford Elementary.
The Board had voted to change the name with the consolidation of all local elementary schools at Greenfield, at the start of this school year.
But people in the area wanted the school to still be known as Greenfield Elementary.