Details released about N.S. bill aimed at ending labour dispute with teachers

Nova Scotia's Liberal government will impose a contract that contains a three per cent salary increase over four years for the province's 9,300 teachers.

The new contract, to be tabled as part of the Teachers Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvement Act, contains wage increases included in the first two tentative agreements rejected by members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

It includes zero per cent for the first two years, followed by increases of one per cent in the third year and 1.5 per cent in the fourth, with a 0.5 per cent increase on the last day of the agreement.

It also end the union's right to strike as teachers would no longer be in a legal strike position.

The bill establishes a council to improve classroom conditions and a commitment of $20 million over two years to address that issue.

One of the issues the council will address is class size caps, which will remain at their current level for grades Primary to 6.

There will also be a three-person commission on inclusive education that will be launched 30 days after the bill is passed.

The commission is expected to submit an interim report by June 30, which will leave enough time for recommendations to be implemented for the upcoming school year.

The province will also issue directives to superintendents and school boards reinforcing that there are to be no "no-fail" policies, and to immediately begin engagement on and implementation of an attendance policy.

Retirement bonuses will also be frozen and based on the salary a teacher makes upon retirement.

It's expected the legislation could take a week or more to complete.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union and both opposition parties have condemned the use of legislation, saying it takes away teachers' rights.

With files from James Faulkner, The Canadian Press