Why standing with @withwozney on May 31 means better for @NSTeachersUnion members #withwozney #nstu #president @Doyle_PE

Shaun Doyle (@Doyle_PE) – thanks for nailing the existential question of the run-off:

How will things be better for ALL members with you as president?

At first glance, better seems easy to measure, but it’s complicated by what ALL members encompasses. It means public school members (elementary, middle and high school classroom teachers, specialists, student service members, administrators, rural and urban, anglophone and Acadian, substitute, early, mid and late career), community college members (faculty and professional support), active reserve, retired teachers (who are considered members by our bylaws and constitution). There are other identifiers here as well. Many of our siblings continue to be marginalized by race, sexuality, gender, language and culture.

How could one president make things better for them all?

It starts with strengthening unity by restoring faith in leadership. Our union needs immediate changes to ensure members from every part of the province feel they are being represented. As we prepare for negotiations in 2019, I will improve communication with local presidents who are at the front lines with members. Community College members deserve better than what they have received and I will do my best to make them feel valued again. The NSTU president should not only travel to campaign, but should be accessible to members more regularly.

As the chair of the Provincial Executive, I will apply the constitution and operational procedures consistently and with integrity. Restoring transparency and best practices in all respects of governance is a priority. Members need to trust that the leadership is working in good faith and in their best interests. Closed session must be used only for its intended purpose (personnel/discipline, finances and negotiation tactics).

Like us, the public is exhausted by the conflict and gridlock on education. While Bill 75 and Bill 72 and Bill 148 are passed into law, how we move forward on inclusion with the government and work with the Council on Classroom Conditions matters. We can continue to oppose unconstitutional legislation, but also be the responsible, thoughtful partner in the dialogue on public education.

Having a permanent NO as a response to government and to any proposed change is not working. The NSTU needs to get in front and lead with plans and ideas for education that would make a difference. Rather than waiting for government to announce changes we know are harmful and then resist, the NSTU needs to be proactive.

I have a plan to communicate our issues week and month in and out via a complete range of channels: newspaper, radio, TV, social media. It means that when we go to negotiate, the reasons for our asks will ALREADY be apparent and meaningfully connected to the experience of and outcomes for students. Members know that I’m up to the task as a writer, speaker, interview subject and social media presence. I will not wait until there is an issue that requires a response; we will present the issues that the government needs to respond to.

I have said before that this election is a referendum about who we are as a union as much as it is about selecting someone to fill an important office. It’s true that we’ve had hard times recently, fallen down in many respects and have plenty of room to improve.

That said, things will be better for all by standing with Wozney because you will be sending someone into leadership who understands that better means different things to different people, and the twisting path towards better-for-all runs through sharing the process and standing together.

On May 31st, I’m hoping every member passionate about a better NSTU stands with me as a first step to making it happen.

Thanks for a brilliant question- all my best,
Paul Wozney

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