Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Suspends Bargaining
Talks on a new collective agreement for the province’s 13,000 teachers have been suspended.
Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Patrick Maze said this decision was made reluctantly. It was deemed to be necessary, given the Government of Saskatchewan’s continuing delays in appointing new members to the province’s Educational Relations Board.
“We have had no direct contact with the Ministry since filing a court application to force the appointment of members to the Board, so we simply have no idea what their plans are,” Maze said.
“I find the government’s lack of commitment to ensuring a fair and just process to be quite troubling.
“There’s simply no point in continuing negotiations without a functioning board in place,” Maze said. “It’s just too risky. There would be no mechanism to guarantee the fair and transparent implementation and monitoring of teacher collective bargaining agreements.”
Maze says once the Board appointments have been made, he’s confident bargaining can resume as both sides seem committed to making progress on reaching a new collective agreement for teachers.
Maze said teachers find this delay frustrating because it could be easily resolved by the Minister of Education using her existing powers. Further, the current round of talks with the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee was making gradual progress.
“I’m disappointed that other good work in the education sector would be put at risk by the government dragging their feet on this issue,” Maze said. “It appears that we’ll need to rely on the courts to enforce government adherence to its own legislation.”
The application to the courts to force the appointment of members to the board was made on October 2, 2017, and is scheduled to be heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon on October 24.