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Province, teachers sign new collective agreement

By Brad Perry Sep 29, 2023 | 6:34 AM

New Brunswick teachers will see a wage increase of 15 per cent over five years, retroactive to 2021.

A new collective agreement was signed Thursday by the province and the New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation.

It comes two weeks after teachers voted 86 per cent in favour of the new agreement, which was reached in late July.

“This agreement addresses some important concerns such as recruitment, retention and instructional time, as well as wage adjustments,” Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said in a news release.

In addition to the wage increase, the entry wage and the maximum salary have also been increased.

Students from kindergarten to Grade 2 will receive one extra hour of instruction per day starting in the 2024-25 school year.

Teachers will also be given additional preparation time, which the province said will help with planning and “enhance the quality of education.”

Both sides have also agreed to review current practices around weather-related school closures. A committee will have an opportunity to make recommendations to the government.

“Teachers have an important role to play when it comes to guiding our children and youth and helping instil a passion for learning,” Education Minister Bill Hogan said in the news release.

“This new agreement recognizes that, and also allows us to continue working toward our goal of building a better education system for all New Brunswickers.”

New Brunswick teachers had been without a contract since early 2021. The union had threatened to hold a strike vote if a tentative agreement was not in place before the start of the school year.