Teachers keep “Moving the Goalposts” according to Education Minister

With schools closing for “spring break” tomorrow, and through next week, there will be no job action from teachers.

The on going labour dispute with the provincial government has seen teachers withdraw from extra curricular activities province wide all week. The job action is expected to resume after the break.

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill says there is a path back to the bargaining table being offered by the provincial government. Cockrill says when the government agrees to a demand from the teachers, the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation will move the goalposts.

He says the government has increased funding to education to 2.2 billion dollars in the latest budget, with millions being set aside for classroom supports, including class size and class complexity. Cockrill says that wasn’t good enough for teachers who are demanding that funding be enshrined in their contract.

The teachers believe that is the only way to make sure the government lives up to its commitment to keep these dollars flowing in the years ahead, and not subject to the political whims of provincial governments or school boards.

Cockrill says the government has offered an “accountability framework” to teachers, which will ensure the money is spent at the local level, and teachers will be able to negotiate that through each individual school division. When asked, the education minister wasn’t able to be specific about what that framework would look like, or its standing in law to make sure the money allocated by the government is spent where it is supposed to be.

Cockrill also said if teachers are still taking strike action when high school grad ceremonies are scheduled, the government will work with each individual school to make sure those ceremonies go ahead.

Teachers have been without a contract since August of 2023 and have taken a number of job actions in recent months.

The union and the province have been at an impasse over whether classroom sizes and supports for high-needs students should be negotiated in their collective agreement.

The STF has scheduled a news conference, and we will bring you their response to the government’s proposal.

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