Teachers to launch one day, rotating strikes to try and get government to negotiate

The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation is announcing its next steps in its labour dispute with the provincial government.

STF President Samantha Becotte says teachers will stage one day, rotating strikes starting Thursday February 1st.

That means specific districts will be targeted, not the entire province.

Teachers will strike at all schools in Holy Trinity, Prairie South, and Horizon. Prince Albert Catholic Schools and Saskatchewan Rivers Public Schools will be behind picket lines as well. In the Tri-West Area teachers will strike at All Light of Christ Catholic School Division schools, all Living Sky School Division schools and Sakewew High School in North Battleford.

“Where is the Minister of Education? People are doing everything they can to bring their concerns to his attention, but he still refuses to listen,” says Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte. “Saskatchewan people have sent over 30,000 emails to government in less than three weeks – and these are just the emails we know of. When this government received 18 letters from parents this fall, they called an emergency session of the legislature to invoke the notwithstanding clause and circumvent the constitution. They only seem concerned about the issues that fit within their political agenda. It is mystifying that they believe this can continue.”

Teachers have staged two one day province wide walkouts to try and pressure the government to bargain class size and complexity. Its a topic the Sask Party Government maintains should be talked about on a school division level, not the provincial level. A recent conciliation report looking into the dispute said the Sask Party could bargain about class size and complexity if it chose, but has no legal obligation to do so. The provincial government has poured its efforts into showing how much money it is setting aside for education, through a social media campaign.

Teachers have only laid out what will happen on Thursday this week. The STF is legally obligated to give 48 hours notice before staging a walkout or strike.

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