01/12/2017 11:23 EST | Updated 01/13/2018 00:12 EST

Ministers questions Nova Scotia teachers' training trips during work-to-rule

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's education minister is wondering why teachers have continued to travel to professional development conferences despite their work-to-rule job action.

Karen Casey is reacting to a CBC report that 11 teachers attended a conference in Hawaii last week after getting permission from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

Casey says since work-to-rule began Dec. 5, events and activities have been constrained by a strict edict that stipulates teachers should only report for work 20 minutes before class starts and leave 20 minutes after the school day ends.

She questions whether there is a double standard at play, and says she doesn't know how the union can defend the trips.

However, Casey does confirm the travel was approved prior to the Dec. 5 job action.

Contract negotiations were continuing Thursday, although Casey says the sides would have to decide whether to keep talking or set some new dates for further discussions.