Principals, vice-principals and supervisory staff

  • Principals and vice-principals are the educational leaders in our schools now, and will continue to be. These changes will give them greater autonomy and independence.
  • This includes having supervisory responsibilities for teachers, including performance evaluation and other managerial responsibilities.

  • Leaders and supervisors are seldom in the same union as the people they lead and supervise because it can create conflict. That is why this change is being made.

  • Principals, vice-principals and those in supervisory roles will have one year to decide whether they want to remain in their current role, or stay in the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union and return to the classroom. This will give them time to consider their options before they make this important decision.

  • Yes. In three provinces – British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec – principals and vice-principals are not unionized. However, they may have their own professional association.
  • Pension and benefit coverage will continue.
  • Principals, vice-principals and those in supervisory roles will have one year to decide whether they want to remain in their current role, or stay in the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union and return to the classroom. This will give them time to consider their options before they make this important decision.
  • Their job security and seniority will be protected so they can continue to be the valued educational leaders in our system.
  • Yes. Principals and vice-principals will remain as certified teachers and will continue to be able to teach, as they do in other provinces like British Columbia and Ontario.
  • No. Principals and vice-principals are the educational leaders in our schools now, and will continue to be. These changes will give our principals and vice-principals greater autonomy and independence so they can be the instructional leaders we need them to be.
  • Dr. Glaze also acknowledges that principals should not have to spend time on building maintenance issues. We agree and will act to make this happen so principals can focus on instructional leadership.

  • Principals and vice-principals could choose to form a professional association. Associations allow their members to advance issues such as working conditions, professional development and compensation. 

Seniority lists are governed by regional agreements with each board as a separate employer. That will continue. However, we want to create more choice and opportunities for teachers, while respecting seniority and supporting teacher recruitment and retention for all schools. The details of how to achieve this are complex (involving legislation and provincial and regional collective agreements) and are still being worked out. We are committed to work with the NSTU and other partners on these questions.

If an administrator returns to the classroom, under the existing collective agreement provisions, their seniority is protected. This is an issue that we want to discuss with the NSTU. It may be that seniority could be recognized for all time spent, whether in the bargaining unit or not; however, we cannot confirm this until discussions take place with the NSTU.

  • Principals and vice-principals cannot bump other teachers out of positions now. Bumping or displacement would not occur in the future either.
  • Principals, vice-principals and those in supervisory roles will have one year to decide whether they want to remain in their current role, or stay in the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union and return to the classroom. This will give them time to consider their options before they make this important decision.

Yes, your rights and benefits will be protected. Government recognizes the critical role of principals and vice-principals in our schools. Government also recognizes that principals and vice-principals will only stay in these roles if their rights and benefits are protected. Solid public policy and best practice demand that all employers treat excluded employees (like principals and vice-principals) fairly. All employers including government want managerial employees to feel valued. Less favourable terms and conditions are not an option.

Principals, vice-principals and those in supervisory roles will have one year to decide whether they want to remain in their current role, or stay in the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union and return to the classroom. This will give them time to consider their options before they make this important decision.

Managerial positions are excluded from bargaining units throughout the public sector. In no case are terms and conditions less favourable with those employees. It will be no different with principals and vice-principals. We want principals and vice-principals to remain in these positions, as instructional leaders in our schools. We can only achieve this if we preserve all terms and conditions of employment that make a difference in people’s professional and personal lives (salary, sick leave, PD, etc.).

Until such time as principals and vice-principals have had an opportunity to engage in  meaningful discussion, there is no plan to change how they are compensated. Any future changes that might occur would only be done to enhance compensation for this group of excluded employees. All large public sector employers have compensation plans that are fair and recognize the responsibilities and authorities of the employees in them. Principals and vice-principals would be no different.

The province provides legal support for its staff who are performing their duties in good faith. Principals and vice principals would be entitled to the support that the province provides to its existing non-union staff.

Teachers with recall status will continue to have that status within their region.

The Education Act defines what it means to be a teacher now. Principals and vice-principals meet that definition. They will continue to be educators, with the qualifications to be in the classroom. Principals and vice-principals who do not belong to the union in other provinces continue to be able to teach, and our plan will enable them to do so in Nova Scotia too.

Principals, vice-principals and other supervisory staff are educational leaders and will continue to be. As part of their roles, they have supervisory responsibilities for teaching and non-teaching employees, including performance evaluation as well as other confidential responsibilities. They are being removed from the union based on these responsibilities in the same way that supervisory staff are excluded from bargaining units under other legislative regimes. It is rare to find supervisory staff in a bargaining unit because of the inherent conflicts that arise.

As employees with supervisory responsibilities, they, like those in other fields, would not be able to form a union. However, they would be able to form a professional association where issues of common concern would be discussed. Government will enable any such association to bring forward issues of importance to the members. Over time these discussions could result in terms and conditions such as compensation plans or other terms changing but only if they make sense to the employee group. Government has no intention of making unilateral changes that would result in less favourable pay and benefits.