Nova Scotia Overview
Members of the NSTU
Beliefs of the NSTU
The NSTU serves as the primary advocate of its members by protecting and enhancing salary and benefits, improving working conditions, supporting personal well-being, keeping members informed and promoting opportunities to participate.
The NSTU is committed to leadership in educational change by maintaining and promoting excellence in teaching, encouraging lifelong learning, influencing educational trends through research and evaluation and distributing information.
The NSTU promotes and enhances public education for all students by supporting a safe and healthy learning environment, advancing the profession, advocating social justice and unionism, working with other organizations and communicating its beliefs in order to affect public opinion and policy.
Structure of the NSTU
The NSTU is a statutory Union which means that its foundational structure, including its membership, mandate and powers, are outlined in legislation.
The Teachers’ Collective Bargaining Act states that the Union will be the only one to bargain for the teachers with the employer and represent teachers in any matters related to their terms and conditions of employment. Visit here to view this Act. (Read More 4)
The NSTU outlines its structure more thoroughly through its constitution, policy and operational procedures.
- The NSTU structure includes NSTU Representatives at the school/worksite level, Local Unions who support the NSTU Representatives, Regional Representative Councils who support the Locals in regional contract matters, as well as Provincial Committees and Professional Associations that support particular areas of professional interest.
- The Council, which usually meets annually is the supreme governing body of the Union and is made up of Provincial Executive members and members elected from each Local Union in the province. Between council meetings, the NSTU is run by the 23-member Provincial Executive, which includes a full-time president. All of the positions on the Provincial Executive, as well as the NSTU President are elected. The NSTU also has a central office where the Executive Director and other full-time staff support the policies, programs and services of the Union. (See Source 1)
The NSTU Guidelines & Operational Procedures
These are available in Page Flip Digital format or Adobe PDF or by clicking here. (Read More 5) The Guidelines cover Constitution and Policy. The by-laws of NSTU can be found under the Constitution. Such topics as Governance; Curriculum; Economic Welfare and Working Conditions; Government; and Professional Development are covered under Policy. Here is a sample from the Guidelines under Curriculum on Multiculturalism.
Schools of Nova Scotia reflect a pluralistic, multi-ethnic society, which influences the teaching/learning styles represented in our schools. The values and behaviour patterns present and presented in our schools differ among cultural groups. Citizens in a democratic society need ethnic and cultural literacy (adequate understanding of ethnic groups, ethnicity and culture). Members, because of their role in society, have a major responsibility to contribute to the development of ethnic and cultural understanding.
The curriculum should:
(a) Provide students with continuous opportunities to develop positive self-identities.
(b) Recognize the ethnic and cultural diversity of students within the school community.
(c) Describe the development of Nova Scotia and Canada as a multi-faceted society.
(d) Explore and clarify ethnic and cultural alternatives and options within Nova Scotian and Canadian society and make maximum use of local community resources.
The Employer should:
(e) Set policies and procedures that encourage positive multi-ethnic interactions and understandings among students, teachers, administrative and other support staff.
(f) Provide information to members about the significance of multiculturalism in Nova Scotia and about services, programs, materials and developments relating to multiculturalism.
The NSTU should:
(g) Encourage and inspire a higher level of member awareness and a deeper understanding of the relationships between social behaviour, learning styles and cultural differences and their significance.
(h) Encourage and promote the cooperation of members with organizations, groups and individuals involved with multiculturalism.
(i) Encourage the development of a curriculum that reflects the ethno-cultural similarities and differences within the province.
(j) Promote an anti-homophobic, anti-heterosexist, anti-sexist and anti-racist approach to educational strategies, materials and attitudes within the provincial schools.
(k) Accept their responsibility to educate themselves and to think about their own attitudes and behaviours in modeling respect, understanding and affirmation of diversity.
Programs and Services of the NSTU
The NSTU provides many services to members. Below are some examples of the different services the Union provides:
- contractual benefits achieved through bargaining
- protection services like legal services and helping members with medical accommodations
- the Member Assistance Program that includes counselling services and an Early Intervention Program
- pension benefits and programs supporting members moving into retirement
- professional development services such as providing opportunities for conferences and grants, professional learning workshops and presentations and the benefits of the Professional Associations of the Union
- providing support with matters related to teacher certification, advancing teacher certification and teaching standards
- group insurance plans including mental health and wellness programs
Finding Information about the NSTU
The NSTU provides a number of good publications for teachers.
The Teacher is available in Page Flip Digital format or Adobe PDF here. (Read More 6) Included in The Teacher are several regular columns: The President’s Column; Charting Your Course; Occupational Health & Safety; The Well Teacher; and Insurance Update. It is published 8 times a year from September to June.
Review this handbook if you are considering a teaching career in Nova Scotia.
There is some very useful information for IETs on Job Hunting Skills. Visit here to see topics that include Identifying Skill Set; Preparing a Professional Portfolio; Preparing for an Interview; the Interview Process; Debriefing an Interview; Interview Team Expectations; Writing a Cover Letter; and Writing a Resume. See Section 6 for more information on these. (Read More 9)
NSTU has 20 Professional Associations. Membership is open to specific categories of members of NSTU. For example, science teachers can become members of the Association of Science Teachers. The mandate is to provide an opportunity for members to initiate professional development in their respective fields. Visit here to see a list of the associations and their fees. (Read More 8)