Member survey shows teachers are happy with STF, aware of SPDU

November 1, 2018
By Jens Nielsen, Editor, Saskatchewan Bulletin

If teachers are seeking professional development opportunities, the expanding influence of the Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit is becoming increasingly popular.
This was confirmed in the most recent member survey which indicated the heightened awareness of SPDU had risen to 82.8 percent from the previous survey in 2015 where the number was 75.1 percent. It was the only area that showed heightened awareness in that time frame. 

Moreover, 51 percent of 1,383 respondents indicated they had some contact with SPDU, while noting that their usage of the services was on the rise, as well as SPDU’s importance as ranked by teachers.
For example, SPDU has become an integral part of several teacher conventions because of the recent emphasis on growing the provincewide facilitator community.
“One thing about teachers is that they like to talk among themselves in terms of what they are doing, 
and they are wanting to share. You see that repeatedly and the survey validates that,” said Cam Cooper of Praxis Analytics.

Cooper outlined how, on a scale of 1 to 5, the median of 3.58 was exceeded in the vast majority of instances. He surmised that, “across the board, teachers are happier with the [Saskatchewan Teachers’] Federation than they were three years ago. 
It will be interesting to see how that looks the next time,” he said, referring to the next member survey scheduled for 2020.
In terms of members’ awareness of the Federation, literature on the Code of Professional Ethics was at the top by a considerable margin and that was mirrored by the number of members accessing this information.
Advocacy by the STF on behalf of members also scored well. For example, 70 percent of members indicated their satisfaction when it came to resolving issues, which included assistance in local bargaining issues.
Predictably, Cooper pointed out, it was the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Retirement Plan and Health Benefits that were areas where teachers are “highly aware” of the specifics. There was also a rating of 4.10 when it came to members’ satisfaction with the supports they had received when they called the STF.

Cooper indicated members’ satisfaction with communications and advocacy with the public had increased markedly, citing in particular the Pick a Premier campaign.
According to Cooper, the fact that approximately 10 percent of the membership had responded to the survey is sufficient to be considered a good sample.
“Before we draw any conclusions, it’s important to look at the trends from before, and what the patterns might be. Even then you still have to be careful, but surveys of this nature give us a good snapshot of time,” he said.