Government Refusing to Bargain on Class Size and Complexity
Teachers are disappointed and concerned over the government’s refusal to discuss solutions to the issues of class size and classroom complexity. The third meeting between teachers and representatives of government and school boards took place in Regina this week with no progress on these issues.
“We see no evidence that government and trustees are at the point where they are willing to seriously engage in finding solutions to the difficult problems facing education in Saskatchewan,” said Samantha Becotte, STF President. “I find that frustrating, and so will parents, students and teachers across Saskatchewan.”
Becotte said the teachers’ bargaining team is disappointed with the government’s opening salary offer as well as their reluctance to introduce articles to the Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement regarding violence-free classrooms and Truth and Reconciliation. Government and school trustees also claimed teacher retention and recruitment is not a significant issue, a position Becotte calls “astounding and unbelievable.”
“I get the sense they are not serious about addressing these important issues in Saskatchewan schools. These problems not only impact teachers, but also students across the province. Our public education system and students deserve better,” stated Becotte. “Government has the ability to properly fund schools and compensate teachers fairly. Refusal to do so is a purely political choice.”
The Teachers’ Bargaining Committee and the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee will resume negotiations on August 14 and 15 in Saskatoon. Additional negotiations are also currently scheduled for September and October.