Teachers United in Fight to Improve Public Schools
SASKATOON – Ninety-five percent of teachers have shown their support for job sanctions in response to the Government of Saskatchewan’s refusal to bargain on a provincial collective agreement. After two days of voting on October 24 and 25, 90 percent of teachers cast a vote. If the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive deems sanctions necessary between now and June 30, 2024, this vote provides support.
“I want to be very clear that an obstinate and out-of-touch government is forcing this situation down an unfortunate path,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte. “Teachers want to negotiate a fair deal at the bargaining table. We are hopeful that the conciliation process will be successful. But the results of this vote send a very clear message. We are united, we are prepared, and we are ready to fight for our colleagues, our students and the families who are struggling in underfunded and under-resourced public schools across Saskatchewan. I want our government to finally listen to what teachers are telling them with this vote: Enough is enough.”
Earlier this month, the Teachers’ Bargaining Committee declared an impasse in their talks with the government and began the conciliation process in hopes of advancing negotiations. Teachers have put forward 10 proposals for negotiation on critical issues including class size and complexity, violence in classrooms and actionable items that support Truth and Reconciliation. Government has refused to bargain on nine of the 10 teacher proposals.
“Instead of working with us to find solutions, the Education Minister and Premier try to villainize teachers and shirk their responsibility for public schools,” Becotte stated. “It is disappointing beyond words, when we should be at the table talking about how to repair the systemic damage that has been caused by nearly a decade of underfunding.”
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation encourages everyone who is concerned for public education to attend a mini rally in Saskatoon on October 28 or North Battleford on November 4, and to contact their MLA.
“The government wants to ignore reality, but parents and teachers are living with these problems every day. Teachers and parents must stand together and demand government finally address the crisis it has caused in public education,” urged Becotte. “Call or email your MLA and let them know this isn’t acceptable. Ask them to start actually negotiating and address class size, composition and student needs at the table.”