Bargaining Impasse Declared, Teachers to Hold Sanctions Vote

October 16, 2023
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Teachers’ Bargaining Committee has declared an impasse in negotiations with the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and will be filing for conciliation. Teachers will hold a vote on sanctions on October 24 and 25.

“The government is leaving us no other option. We’ve met nine times and there has been no significant movement on issues that are important to teachers, students and families,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte. “We always want to reach an agreement through negotiations. And we will return to the table, day or night, any time the government is prepared to actually negotiate. But as it stands today, this is pointless.”

Teachers are seeking a new agreement that addresses the most pressing issues in education, and to address the serious challenges that students, families and teachers are facing – including class size and composition and lack of supports for students. Data shows that while enrolment is up, there are fewer teachers and other professional supports. The government has refused to bargain on nine out of 10 teacher proposals.

“The Premier and his education minister have made a political choice to cut education funding and leave salary increases well below the rate of inflation for almost a decade. Instead, they are focusing all their attention on divisive wedge issues,” Becotte stated. “The lack of accountability and callous approach is abhorrent. Saskatchewan families deserve a government that works for them.”

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation encourages everyone who is concerned for public education to attend any of the upcoming mini rallies being held throughout Saskatchewan this fall and to contact their MLA.

Backgrounder

For more statistics and source information, please visit the STF’s website.

In the 2022-23 school year there was:

  • a 2.1 percent increase in enrolment, while the number of classroom teachers declined by 0.7 percent,
  • one social worker per 2,588 students,
  • one psychologist per 2,904 students, and
  • one speech language pathologist per 1,413 students.

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, Education Sector Staffing Profile. Retrieved from https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/api/v1/products/79711/formats/90049/download.

From 2018-19 to 2022-23 there was:

  • 15.7 percent reduction in EAL teachers (140 to 124)
  • 7.7 percent reduction in teacher-counsellors
  • 62.7 percent reduction in teacher-librarians
  • 4.9 percent reduction in school psychologists
  • 4.7 percent reduction in teacher-coordinators

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, Education Sector Staffing Profile.

Per-Student Funding

  • In 2012-13, Saskatchewan had the highest per-student total public education spending in the country, as reported by the Fraser Institute. However, by 2020-21, it had dropped to the sixth highest, representing a 10.0 percent decrease in per-student funding.
  • In 2015-16, Saskatchewan had the highest school board operational spending per-student in the country according to Statistics Canada. However, by 2020-21, it had fallen to the eighth place, representing a reduction of 16.5 percent, after adjustment for inflation.

Source: Fraser Institute, Education Spending in Public Schools in Canada, 2023 Edition (accessed October 4, 2023). Retrieved from https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/education-spending-in-public-schools-in-canada-2023.pdf.

Contact information

Lynn Redl-Huntington, BA | Manager, Communications

306-373-1660

306-221-4209