Government and Teachers bargaining committees complete meetings with Conciliation board

The provincial government says that progress was made when the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Teacher Bargaining Committee met with the Conciliation Board from January 21-24 in Saskatoon.

The GTBC feels that the meetings were a success.

The Conciliation Board has now completed their report, recommending that teachers receive a 1% raise for year one, with a 2% raise each in years two AND three.

Education minister Gord Wyant said the Conciliation Board has also confirmed what the arbitration board decided in 2018; that classroom size and composition  should not be included in the collective bargaining agreement.

“While we appreciate the fact that class size and composition continues to be an issue with respect to the delivery of public education, we believe that there is a different path forward in terms of coming to a resolution of that particular issue, and not within the collective bargaining agreement.”

Wyant said he is sending a letter Thursday to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association to come back to the bargaining table.

“Every classroom is different, every school is different, and every school division is different, and I think the STF appreciates that too,” Wyant said. “Having a process and a collective agreement that’s generally not very flexible, it won’t lend itself to solving it.

“I do think that this is really a local issue that has to be determined locally.”

Wyant said it’s been proven in other jurisdictions why class size and composition should not be negotiated in a collective agreement.

“We’ve seen what class size and composition in a collective agreement does; it really makes administrators and Principals compliance officers, and we don’t think that’s the best way to deal with it,” Wyant said. “Using that as an example, we believe there’s a different path forward, and I think that all the parties need to sit down and understand that, and work on developing a path forward.”

Wyant said he’d like to see talks resume before the spring sitting of the Legislature on March 1st.

Meanwhile, the STF says in a news release that the Conciliation Board has confirmed bargaining is at an impasse, adding that the Teachers’ Bargaining Committee will continue seeking a guarantee from the government that adequate resources will be committed to education.
The TBC also says they will not be returning to the bargaining table until the province changes their stance.

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