STF Calls on the Government of Saskatchewan to Take Action Against COVID-19

September 16, 2021
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is urging the Government of Saskatchewan to join the rest of Canada’s provinces in taking immediate action to protect our communities from COVID-19, especially our province’s youngest citizens.

With Alberta’s announcement of new measures last night, Saskatchewan is left with a virtually identical rate of hospitalization, higher rate of new cases and no plan for slowing this increase. Earlier this week the Government of Saskatchewan began reporting the number of new cases in those aged 0-11, which revealed that approximately 20 percent of Saskatchewan’s daily cases are being diagnosed in those too young to be vaccinated.

“Students have made sacrifices throughout this pandemic, including disruption to learning, loss of sports and other activities, and not being able to see friends and families,” said STF President Patrick Maze. “In the first wave we learned how important keeping schools open is to the economy, but it is also important for student learning and mental wellness. We cannot let our guard down now that the youngest and most vulnerable among us have access to the least amount of protection.”

The STF continues to call for consistent rules and processes throughout the province. The lack of guidance from government has led to confusion and made it extremely difficult to administer the measures that school divisions have taken the initiative to implement. The patchwork approach experienced by schools throughout this pandemic is now present at all levels and in all systems: healthcare, education, municipalities and businesses.

Tomorrow, STF local association presidents from across the province will be discussing the dire situation they are experiencing in their communities, the confusion from inconsistent rules across school divisions and what possible solutions could be.

“We are putting our children at unnecessary risk, and it has happened against the advice of many of Saskatchewan’s medical community,” stated Maze. “Teachers and school staff are doing everything in their power to protect students in their classrooms but without consistent, protective measures in place, Saskatchewan children who are too young to be vaccinated will pay the price.”

On August 16 the STF Executive asked the Government of Saskatchewan to mandate vaccines for all eligible school staff and students, and implement consistent, mandatory measures. Earlier this week, the STF reiterated that call and also urged government to immediately implement a number of preventative measures including introducing a provincewide Public Health Order for masks and mandatory isolation, as well as providing a detailed breakdown of case counts, hospitalizations and ICU admissions for additional age categories of those under 19 years.