Teachers’ union calls for changes to guidance counsellor allocation

By: Amber Lebrun, courtesy of Halifax today,  published May 7, 2019

Following three days of lively debate, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union wrapped up its annual council over the weekend.

Members voted to demand that the government publicly disclose its strategy for teacher recruitment and retention.

The 228 union delegates debated various issues over the weekend and were able to come up with 75 resolutions. 

The goal of the conference was to discuss how to strengthen the union and ensure the needs of students and teacher are being met in the classroom.

A motion was passed calling on regional centres for education to base guidance counsellor allocation on both school population and student needs.

NSTU President Paul Wozney says that various factors go into deciding which schools get a guidance counsellor’s time, and it often varies greatly depending on the region.

“Counsellors are the frontline mental health and wellness supports to students in schools every day,” explained Wozney. “We’re glad to see an add of clinical professionals with greater ability to high-needs to students, but in terms of that front-line, day-to-day mental health supports that students rely on, it’s school counsellors.”

Wozney says teachers voted to solidify partnerships with parents, universities, other workers and teachers across Canada to fight for quality public education, and poverty reduction. 

He says the goal is to build a stronger Nova Scotia that addresses the challenges young people face.