School sports in Nova Scotia should be 'up and running ' in two weeks

Published on January 25, 2017

Granville Street was closed off for the Student for Teachers protest last month.

©Jeff Harper/Metro

School sports should be back to normal across Nova Scotia in two weeks, and it looks like most teachers will be back to handle former roles despite the union's talk of transitioning into a 'new normal.'

Although the roughly six weeks of work-to-rule action taken by teachers in a labour dispute with the province means a "truncated" season for many sports, no key provincial or regional dates were missed, according to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF).

I’ve had a lot of calls from coaches and other people, but they’re all looking forward on when can they get going and how. Stephen Gallant

“Schools are able to start practicing and doing exhibition games right now, and we’re just trying to sort out things behind the scenes so that when we’re up and running again we’re up and running for good,” NSSAF executive director Stephen Gallant said Tuesday.

Gallant said since the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) announced late Friday that work-to-rule would be phased out starting Monday, the coordinators have been adjusting schedules and reaching out to teams to make sure they’re coming back.

When asked about his reaction to NSTU president Liette Doucet’s comments that the transition from job action means “a new normal” for schools, Gallant said he’s not sure what “context” Doucet meant and didn’t have a comment on her statement.

“But, we have always been very fortunate to have great support from teachers and principals to make sure that all of our activities are successful. I would hope that we can continue to have that great relationship,” he added.

Since Gallant said he only deals with school principals, he hasn’t heard directly from teachers about how many are returning to sports at the same level they were before work-to-rule.

“I’ve had a lot of calls from coaches and other people, but they’re all looking forward on when can they get going and how,” Gallant said.

Since there are exams going on at most schools this week, Gallant said it won’t be until next week that coaches can assemble their squads for a few practices, so it’s “probably going to take two weeks before you see league games back up.”

Gallant said it’s an unfortunate reality that sports like basketball, hockey, curling, wrestling and more can’t have their seasons extended any longer than usual to make up missed games.

“We have 19 sports, so at the end of some sports is the beginning of the next one. We are bound to our calendar,” Gallant said.