NSTU slams passage of Bill 72

Nova Scotia's teachers' union is slamming the passage of a contentious bill that makes sweeping reforms to the education system.

The governing Liberals used their majority to pass Bill 72 by a vote of 25-21 late Thursday, one week after it was introduced by Education Minister Zach Churchill.

The legislation dissolves the province's seven regional school boards as of March 31 and replaces them with a 15-member provincial advisory council, while keeping local school advisory councils in place along with board administrations.

In another contentious move it takes principals, vice-principals and senior supervisory staff from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and rolls them into a new association affiliated with the union.

STU president Liette Doucet said in a statement that the bill's passage ``marks the beginning of a more fractured education system in Nova Scotia,'' and will bring division to schools.

Premier Stephen McNeil says he believes the changes will give communities a stronger voice because they will get direct access to the minister.