Halifax – The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) says that Bill 75 will deny teachers the right to fair collective bargaining and is calling on the McNeil government to drop the Bill and return to negotiations with the NSTU. In the meantime, over 1,400 full-time university faculty, librarians and contract academic staff continue to stand in solidarity with members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union as this bill is forced upon them.
“Bill 75 prevents members of the NSTU from practicing their right to fair, collective bargaining, a recognized right enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada,” says ANSUT President, Marc Lamoureux. “Bill 75 is similar to Bill 100, which was passed in 2015, and gave the right to Nova Scotia’s University employers to unilaterally suspend its collective agreements, including the right to strike. In this case, the government is both the Employer and Legislator, clearly a conflict of interest.”
Lamoureux says that Bill 75 is further proof of the Liberal government’s failure to bargain in good faith. “Bill 75 demonstrates the government’s contempt and lack of respect for the rights of working people in Nova Scotia,” says Lamoureux. “The Bill is indicative of the Government’s willingness to once again breach the constitutionally protected rights of employees in the province to freely negotiate a fair and reasonable work contract.” With two parties at the negotiation table, “both are expected to negotiate in good faith, but Mr. McNeil’s actions have not reflected this.”
ANSUT advocates for the quality, accessibility and academic integrity of post-secondary education. It believes that such education is a right, not a privilege, and provides its member Associations with the strongest possible voice on post-secondary education issues in the province of Nova Scotia.