Teachers in the province are voting on a tentative contract today in the midst of discontent with their union over the deal.
Meanwhile, the McNeil government might be indicating some concern about how the vote will go after taking out newspaper ads in support of the agreement, today.
Some teachers say they feel the union didn’t represent their interests in negotiating the contract.
Last week, six former Teachers’ Union presidents issued a joint statement urging the union to take a second look at the agreement.
They say the union’s negotiating team should’ve held talks directly with the government instead of through the union’s lawyer, Ron Pink.
They also say non-monetary concessions the province has given in the deal are not likely to last, even if the tentative agreement is ratified.
The five-year deal would see no wage increases in the first two years, and a total increase of 3% over the following three years.
Whether teachers vote to accept the deal could affect the way other public sector unions respond to the McNeil government’s efforts to negotiate contracts that keep labour costs in check.
Former miners’ union leader Steve Drake has resigned from a provincial association representing Crown lawyers over what he describes as bullying, intimidation and alienation by members of the current executive.
The Sydney Crown Attorney says a tentative labour agreement between the provincial Crown Attorneys' Association and the province is the worst deal in the history of the association.
Drake goes on to say there’s a growing rift between the association executive and its members and adds that six Crown lawyers have resigned from the association in the past year while others are exploring avenues to no longer pay dues.
He’s calling for an investigation of the Association.
Meanwhile, current Association president, Halifax Crown lawyer Peter Craig says he won’t comment on the ongoing bargaining process with the province that Drake says offers a two percent wage increase over five years.
However, Craig does say that Drake’s resignation letter is wholly inaccurate, misleading and destructive to the interests of the Association’s entire membership.
The Association represents 91 Crown lawyers across the province.
Lorne Green has been re-elected chair of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
Green defeated fellow board member Stewart Matheson on a secret ballot at last night’s annual general board meeting at Ferrisview Elementary School in North Sydney.
Board member Steve Parsons was elected vice-chair, winning the secret ballot vote over fellow board member John Berk.
Green has served as chair for eight years and will head the Board as it goes through the process of looking at closing up to 19 schools because of declining enrollment.
Final decisions about school closures are expected to be made by the board in April.
The price of gas went up by more than forecast, overnight, and is now selling above the dollar a litre mark, again.
Gas jumped by 3.9 cents a litre and goes for a minimum of $1.01.3 cents a litre in Cape Breton, this morning.
The price of diesel remained unchanged at a minimum of $1.02.9 cents a litre on the Island.
North Sydney-based Mactech Distance Education is closing its doors after being in operation for at least 27 years.
The private business college came under scrutiny in June when there where reports it had one of the worst student loan repayment rates in the country.
A Mactech spokesperson won’t comment on the situation.
However, the Department of Advanced Education says Mactech quietly informed officials it made a "private business decision" and will be shutting down once the current group of students complete their courses.
About 36 people will lose their jobs when Mactech shuts down in June of next year.
Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan says the province was closely monitoring Mactech and would likely have pulled student loan funding if things did not improve.