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The McDowell Foundation Salon Series conversations support teacher-led research communities who are working to sustain and spread classroom innovations throughout the province.   

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Are you a student in grades K-12 in Saskatchewan? Create a short video showing us why your school is special and why you like spending your time there. Submit your video for a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize or the $7,500 gold star prize.

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  • In 1990, an extra 10 weeks of parental leave benefits were added to the Unemployment Insurance, which could be used by either parent or split between them. 
  • In 1990-91, STF registered with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission as an affirmative action employer to improve its employment of women, people of Aboriginal ancestry, and people with disabilities.
  • In 1994, Carol Moen was elected STF’s Vice-President and in 1996 she became STF’s fourth female President.
  • In 1995, Heather-jane Robertson received the George C. Croskery Memorial Award for meritorious service to education from the Canadian College of Teachers and two years later the Distinguished Educator Award of the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education, and two nominations for the Persons Award for her outstanding work in advancing the status of women.
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  • In 1980, the Department of Education, the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association and the STF cosponsored a provincial women’s conference aimed at dealing with issues related to women or sexism in education.
  • On August 1980, a brief sent to the STF Executive regarding increasing the participation of women led to an Executive decision to move toward a proportionate balance of men and women in naming people to advisory committees, delegations and other areas where people are named or appointed.
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  • Starting in 1971, women with 20 or more insurable weeks could claim up to 15 weeks of maternity benefits through the Unemployment Insurance System, at 66 percent of a mother’s previous salary.
  • In October 1973, the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan organization was formed. Caroline Robins was one of the founding members of this organization, serving as the president of the Saskatoon chapter.
  • In 1973, elementary and high school teachers reached wage parity.
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  • In 1953, Caroline Robins was elected Vice-President of the STF, and then elected twice to the office of President, becoming the first STF President to be granted a leave of absence to carry out her duties.
  • By 1953-54, 92.8 percent of women taught in elementary schools and only 7 percent of women taught in the secondary schools; men were still monopolizing this sector. 
  • “Equal opportunities” resolution passed at Council: “Since more of the important teaching positions in the province are held by men and since women teachers far outnumber men teachers, BE IT RESOLVED that this Council go on record as approving the appointment of women to principal and superintendent positions provided that their qualifications warrant the promotion.”
  • In 1957, Council passed notice of motion to rescind Bylaw No. 2: “Of the five members of the executive committee, at least two shall be women.” The May issue of the Bulletin further stated that, “It would appear that women councillors themselves preferred attainment of executive positions on their own merit.”
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As a result of World War II, the shortage of teachers provided married women with an opportunity to return to their teaching careers.

  • Minimum salary for teachers was legislated in 1940 after STF convinced thousands of teachers to sign an undertaking not to teach for less than $700 per year. For the first time, a statutory minimum for teachers became the law in Saskatchewan.
  • Bargaining by Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation led to teacher salaries based on experience and qualifications.

 

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The lean years of The Great Depression created a hostile climate for single women teachers.

  • During a Saskatchewan Teachers’ Convention in 1938, one official from the Saskatchewan Department of Education blatantly suggested that the country’s problem with unemployment could be resolved easily if the “55,000 lady teachers in Canada were eliminated from their positions, making way for men who are now walking the streets.”
  • On January 1, 1934, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation was formed with a much-anticipated objective of province-wide representation. Gail Stewart became STF’s first female Vice-President.
  • In 1935, Myrtle Strangways, a career teacher and STF’s second female Vice-President, became the STF representative on the Teachers’ Superannuation Commission. For over 20 years, 1935 to 1956, she played a leading role in the work of the STF to improve teachers’ pensions.
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  • In 1920, Catherine Sheldon-Williams, known as the “grand lady of Saskatchewan education” created the province’s first correspondence school. Within five years, the enrolment increased to 300 applicants.
  • In 1921, only 2 percent of married women in Canada were in the labour force.
  • In 1924, Victoria Tory Miners became the first female public school principal in Saskatoon. She remained in this position at Haultain School until her retirement in 1948.
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  • In response to continuing preference of some trustees to choose male teachers, in 1915, women teachers of Saskatchewan came together to form the Saskatoon Women Teachers’ Association (SWTA). By 1918, with Victoria (Tory) Miners as president, the SWTA became the largest teachers’ local in the province of Saskatchewan. Tory played a vital role in changing the status and working conditions of teachers in Saskatchewan, making her area of focus equal pay for women.
  • In 1916, the Superannuated Teacher Association was founded by Emma Stewart and Flora Henderson.
  • The extensive impact of World War I, 1914-1918, profoundly changed the composition of Saskatchewan teachers. As women entered the classrooms, they were issued provisional teaching certificates to overcome the shortage of male teachers who joined the Canadian army.
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