Teachers Trying to Dial Up the Heat on the Provincial Government

Teachers in Saskatchewan are escalating their job action, as they work to reach a new deal with the provincial government on a new contract.

Starting Tuesday March 5th, teachers are withdrawing from all extra curricular activities in Saskatchewan for two days. That would include the organization, supervision and facilitation of activities, including athletics, non-curricular arts, field trips, student travel and graduation preparations.

“This job action can be stopped immediately when government is ready to negotiate on all issues of importance to teachers, including class size and complexity,” says STF President Samantha Becotte in a statement. “We are asking government to include the offer they made outside of bargaining as part of the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee’s renewed mandate. If Minister of Education Jeremey Cockrill, Premier Scott Moe, and Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Jaimie Smith-Windsor are truly committed to improving the experience of students in schools, they should have no problem allowing the discussion of these items at the bargaining table. With these items on the table, negotiations can come to a quick conclusion, resolving the longest teachers’ strike in the history of Saskatchewan. This would ensure that schools and teachers can move on in planning an excellent ending to the school year, including all the voluntary services from which students and families benefit.”

The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation is giving more than the required 48 hours notice of this decision, so the STF is calling this a “five day countdown”.

“Government isn’t just ignoring teachers. They are ignoring the needs of students, parents and the people they are elected to serve. More than 100,000 emails have been sent to government through Tell Them Tuesday,” says Becotte. “If government continues to ignore this, we will have no choice but to further escalate job action.”

So far the teachers haven’t staged a full walk out, instead choosing targeted job action to try an bring the provincial government back to the table. Teachers have also staged one day rotating strikes, a withdrawal of lunch time supervision, and a ban on extra curriculars, which was usually one day in a few areas. Now that tactic is moving provincewide.

Teachers want to bargain on class size and class complexity with the provincial government. The Sask Party Government has made it plain, that in its opinion, these issues are better discussed at a division by division level.

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