Government Forces Second Provincewide Teachers’ Strike
Another five-day countdown has passed, and government is still refusing to give their bargaining committee a new mandate to negotiate with teachers on class size and complexity. This has forced teachers to engage in a second provincewide strike today, with approximately 35 demonstration sites in communities across Saskatchewan.
“We are giving this government every opportunity to return to the table and engage with us to find solutions,” says Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte. “If they continue to flat-out refuse to bargain on class size and complexity, which are the learning conditions for Saskatchewan’s students, we will have no choice but to continue to exercise the only options we have left to bring them back into discussions. I strongly encourage everyone in the province to reach out to their elected officials and urge our government to send their bargaining committee back to the table and stop further disruptions to the school year.”
In less than two weeks, over 18,000 emails and phone calls have been sent to Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill, Premier Scott Moe and members of the legislative assembly. Support and solidarity for teachers has poured in from across the country, yet government remains intransigent on critical issues for their constituents.
“We clearly have the government’s attention. My question is, are they going to actually listen to what parents and teachers are telling them?” says Becotte. “The Minister wants to make this all about teacher salaries and continues to misrepresent our proposals. We have made our opening proposal package public. We have been very clear that we are ready and willing to negotiate – and that must include class size and complexity. This is about so much more than a single issue. This about ensuring our kids have access to the resources and supports they desperately need, for many years to come.”
Supporters are encouraged to sign up for Tell Them Tuesday to take part in advocacy actions and help bring government back to the table – willing to negotiate on class size and complexity.