The recent agreement reached between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) and support staff has been making headlines across the province. The new four-year agreement covers over 3,000 support staff, including admin staff, teaching assistants, and custodians. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the agreement and what it means for those involved.
Firstly, it’s important to note that this agreement comes after over three years of negotiations and disputes between the NSTU and the provincial government. However, both parties have now agreed to the terms of the new agreement, which will see a 7% wage increase over the next four years for support staff.
Aside from the pay raise, the agreement also includes changes to sick leave and vacation entitlements. Support staff will now be entitled to three paid sick days per year, up from two in the previous agreement. In addition, vacation entitlements will now be based on length of service, with most support staff starting at three weeks of vacation per year.
Another notable aspect of the agreement is the new language surrounding job security. The agreement states that support staff will not be laid off due to budget constraints or school closures. This provides a level of job security that was not previously guaranteed under the old agreement.
Of course, this agreement has not been without controversy. Some union members have criticized the agreement for not going far enough in terms of wage increases and job security. However, the NSTU has defended the agreement, stating that it provides much-needed improvements to support staff working conditions.
For those involved in the agreement, it’s important to note that it will be retroactive to July 1, 2020, and will remain in effect until June 30, 2024. This means that support staff will receive a retroactive pay increase and will see their wages increase each year until the agreement expires.
In conclusion, the new NSTU support staff agreement provides a number of key improvements for those involved, including wage increases, improved sick leave and vacation entitlements, and increased job security. While it may not be perfect, it is a step in the right direction towards improving working conditions and ensuring a fair and just workplace for all.