N.S. teachers' union says schools 'in chaos,' asks government to delay reopening

Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU)

Nova Scotia's teachers are warning that the province's schools aren't ready to reopen as planned next week.

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union issued a news release Wednesday claiming schools are "in chaos."

The union says members are reporting ventilation systems that haven't been inspected or repaired, a lack of proper handwashing stations, and hallways filled with old furniture from teachers emptying classrooms to increase space.

Union president Paul Wozney says he's asked the province to at the very least, allow two professional development days to be shifted to the beginning of the school year to give staff more time to prepare.

Wozney says without smaller class sizes and more physical distancing, students cannot adhere to public health guidelines, adding the union is considering a safety grievance if the province doesn't delay the reopening.

Education Minister Zach Churchill, however, said Wednesday the province is proceeding with its plan to reopen classrooms on schedule next Tuesday, adding there's a plan in place to swiftly remove students from school who might be infected.