Thousands of teachers rallied outside the Nova Scotia legislature Friday, protesting against the government’s legislated contract, Bill 75.
Striking teachers from across the province were bused in to Halifax to march around Province House. At its peak, the rally had thousands of teachers chanting and marching with signs and spirit.
“I’m here because Bill 75 is taking away my charter rights,” said high school teacher Carolyn Nickelo.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled twice that this is unconstitutional. Yet here we are, wasting who knows how much taxpayer dollars ramming through legislation that’s simply going to be overturned”
“I want to fight for my human rights. I want to fight for democracy. I’m not just here because I am a teacher, it’s more than that. It’s what I saw from this government is more dictatorship than democracy and I don’t agree with that,” said protester Karim Amedjkouh.
Meanwhile inside Province House, the government decided it would not make any amendments to the legislated contract, after teachers, community members and more people made statements to the law amendments committee Thursday.
The union asked for several amendments to Bill 75, including reinstating the two paid days off, changes to work-to-rule and opting for a more generous wage package.
Parents, students and community members also rallied outside the legislature Friday, showing solidarity with the province’s teachers. Some teachers had been stationed outside the legislature since 7 p.m. Thursday evening.
“The lessons that they’ll learn today about standing up for what’s right are more important than any lesson that they would have learned in the missed day of school today,” said parent Alana Lewis.
“They do so much for us and I feel like don’t get enough credit for what they do,” said Hailey Mackey, student.
“All I know is what they’ve taught me so I’m going to support them,” said student Regina Charmi.
“Teachers have helped improved our life and shape our future,” added Alexa McLellan, student. “The way they’re being treated is so unfair and gotta show them some sympathy.”
More coverage on the entire teacher’s dispute can be found here.
Global Halifax is live at the Nova Scotia teachers rally. Head to https://www.facebook.com/globalhalifax/ to watch.