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NOVEMBER 29, 2016

NLTA Meeting with Minister of Education


Today we met with Minister Dale Kirby to discuss many of the issues you have brought to our attention. The discussion was frank, open, and straightforward. While Provincial Executive will determine our next course of action, today’s meeting is a positive first step in restoring a working relationship between your Association and the Department of Education.

The agenda for today’s meeting was full with a number of key issues important to teachers: resourcing of inclusive education, class size and composition, full day kindergarten, combined grades and multi-grading, mandate of the Premier’s Task Force, and public statements by the Minister.

The main discussion centered around the human resources needed to make inclusive education work for all students, regardless of whether or not they have diagnosed exceptionalities. Invariably, our conversation came back to our key point that a discussion about class size is inextricably linked to the issue of class composition. Our message was clear: our education system requires a need-based, not a budget-based approach to funding. Teachers are tired, frustrated, and demoralized trying to make up for the deficits in the system. It was obvious from our conversation that many of you have brought your concerns directly to the Minister.

I wish to thank you for your support and efforts in making this meeting possible. Over the past number of months when we have called on you to contact government to voice your concerns, and you have done so. This was key in convincing the Minister to meet with us.

I’m fond of Martin Luther King’s quote, “take the first step in faith”, and our meeting today was such a step. But it doesn’t mean we can afford to sit back, be complacent, and assume the problems are resolved. I cannot guarantee that the relationship between the NLTA and Government will always be amicable; there are issues on which we are diametrically opposed. However, I promise to continue to advocate for the resources you need to deliver the best education to your students.

There is still much work to be done, we have a ways to go, and we will need your voices more than ever to deliver a strong message that education is an investment in our future.

Take care,

James Dinn
NLTA President