Teachers Reject Proposed Deal to End Strike

After a two day ratification vote, teachers in Saskatchewan have voted to reject the latest deal worked out with the provincial government.

The STF says with 88 percent of eligible teachers voting, 55 percent voted to reject the offer.

President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Samantha Becotte speaking to reporters after the 2024/2025 budget. (File Photo: Tanner Wallace-Scribner)

“We take our direction from the membership, and members have spoken.” STF President Samantha Becotte said in a statement. “The result of this vote is a message to government and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association that teachers need to see real changes to classroom complexity and compensation. In feedback from members, we heard clearly that their priorities haven’t been adequately addressed.”

Becotte went on to say “In the days leading up to this vote, I stressed that the fight for public education will continue, and our members will determine which forum that battle will take place in. The STF Executive and I will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to get a deal done with the support of our collective to strengthen our profession and public education for current and future students.”

The provincial Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill was swift with a statement, moments after the results were relased.

“I am disappointed by the result of the vote that will reject not only a fair agreement negotiated between government, school divisions and the STF, but one that was endorsed and recommended by the STF executive senior leadership. We will have more to say about next steps very soon.”

This the second time teachers have rejected a contract offer from the provincial government, through the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. In early May, teachers rejected what was termed at that time by the government as its “final offer”, with 90 percent opposed.

A few days of negotiations followed that vote, coming up with the agreement the STF Bargaining Team took back to their membership.

This latest deal contained 18 million dollars more for classroom complexity, and language that would ensure teachers would have a say in how those dollars are spent. The three year deal also contained wage increases of three percent in the first and second year, and two percent in the second.

Where contract talks go from here is anyone’s guess. The fact that 55 percent of teachers voted to reject this offer compared to the one earlier in the month would indicate the two sides are closer to a deal than they were a couple of weeks ago.

The STF is inviting the Saskatchewan School Board Association’s bargaining committee to meet for talks. Teachers say if the offer to negotiate is refused, or if those talks break down, teachers will issue 48 hour notice of job action.

More from 620 CKRM