Teachers “Resoundingly” Reject Government’s Final Offer.

Its back to the drawing board for the Sask Party Government and the province’s teachers after STF members voted to reject the latest settlement offer.

A news release from the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation says 90 percent of those who voted, rejected the deal. The STF says 92.2 percent of eligible members voted. Teachers have been voting for two days, on what the STF has termed the government’s final offer.

“The message to government and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association is crystal clear: their so-called ‘final offer’ is unacceptable and does a disservice to students and teachers”. said STF President Samantha Becotte. “The Government of
Saskatchewan and the SSBA must finally take this process and these issues seriously and work with
teachers in good faith to address the crisis occurring in publicly funded schools under their watch.”

Becotte went on to say “This vote tells students, families and our Teachers’ Bargaining Committee that teachers are deeply committed to securing a sustainable future for publicly funded schools and for the supports our students desperately need in classrooms.”

The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation says they will not begin to take any job action right away. The STF has also ivited the government bargaining committee to meet for talks Monday and Tuesday next week.

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill issued a statement minutes after the STF vote results were announced.

“I am disappointed by the result of the vote to reject a fair agreement that was negotiated between the government, school divisions and STF, reflecting the best interests of Saskatchewan students, teachers, parents and taxpayers.” 

The statement goes on to say “The best deal will be reached at the bargaining table, and both sides should immediately agree to return to the table and avoid any further sanctions that could jeopardize instructional time and important milestone events for Saskatchewan students.”

End of year trips and graduation ceremonies could be in jeopardy if the teachers choose to withdraw from extra curricular activities.

The Saskatchewan Party government offered wage increases of three per cent in the first and second years, followed by a two per cent raise in the third year.

It has also pledged to follow through on a commitment of more funding for classroom supports, but that’s where the impasse is. Teachers want that language written into the contract, while the government would rather the individual school boards make the decisions about how that money is allocated. The teachers argue if its written into their contract, the government would have to live up to continuing to fund these classroom supports, and that money wouldn’t be subject to the political whims of the government of the day.

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