HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – (BUSINESS WIRE– The union representing workers in day care centers and all of the province’s regional education centers calls Premier Iain Rankin’s plan to reopen schools, with two regions still under lockdown, risky and unmanageable.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen said, “I am pleased that we are meeting the immunization targets and that children 12 years of age and over are now eligible for immunization. However, the Prime Minister changed his plans 180 degrees from Monday to today. Why now? What is there to gain? ”
“For the province to say that schools have not been a major source of transmission of COVID-19, we cannot be entirely sure that this is the case,” says Lisa deMolitor, chair of the Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions. “Data on active cases linked to schools available on the website website today does not match the information they provided to us in the past 30 days. ”
On June 2, staff and students will return to all schools in the education centers in the West and North region. Several schools, but not all, are reopening at the regional education centers of Cape Breton-Victoria and Chignecto-Central, as well as at the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (see the Complete list). At the Halifax Regional Center for Education, all schools will remain closed.
“Again, there was no communication with the front line workers. We only learned that these schools would reopen 20 minutes before today’s announcement, and our employers have yet to discuss work plans with staff – not with cleaners, not with maintenance workers, not with the bus drivers – nobody, ”says deMolitor.
The province said there will be “some exceptions for students with very complex needs” and families will be contacted next week with details. In addition, Public Health and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will continue to evaluate in-person classes for other students in HRM and Sydney.
“The Prime Minister says there will be a plan, but they are moving forward without a plan. June 2 is Wednesday, in five days. This lack of planning impacts teacher assistants and child, youth and youth care providers, and the students they support, ”adds deMolitor.
Clearly in today’s presentation there was no mention of the fact that centers are going to 100% capacity (from the current maximum of 60%), without consultation and without a plan. Meanwhile, the province remains under wraps about the number of COVID-19 cases linked to child care. “There have been cases related to child care in the past two weeks, but the province still refuses to reveal information in the same way it shares it on schools,” McFadgen says.
CUPE Nova Scotia is the second largest union in the province with over 19,000 members.
CUPE’s education locals, collectively known as the Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions, represent more than 3,500 members working for the seven regional education centers and the Conseil scolaire acadien, in all public schools. from Nova Scotia.
CUPE represents approximately 200 early childhood educators working in child care centers in Halifax and Bridgewater.
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