2021-22 School Year

The most recent Government of Saskatchewan announcement is encouraging all employers, including school divisions, to implement a proof of vaccine or negative test. Schools are currently exempt from the vaccine mandate put in place to begin October 1, 2021; the current mask mandate applies to all schools across the province.

The Federation will provide information and guidance once more information is shared from the school divisions on their own protocols and mandates.

Information for Principals

  • Your school division will provide you with information on protocols and supports available. Your division should provide clarity on:
    • What protocols may be mandatory, what is optional and what measures will be supported
    • Plans and procedures regarding school test kits and student illness
    • What decisions will be made at the division level and what ones can be made at the school level
    • The plans for reintroduction of extracurricular activities. Teachers’ support of extracurricular activities is on a voluntary basis.
    • Any mental health and well-being supports that are offered by the division.
  • All STF members have access to the Member and Family Assistance Program any time of day, any day of the year. Log in to MySTF and visit the Teacher Well-Being page for contact information.

The STF is calling on the Government of Saskatchewan to make vaccines mandatory for all eligible students and staff. Scientific evidence has proven that vaccines are safe and the best way to reduce spread of COVID-19 and severity if you do contract it. Students under 12 are still unvaccinated and are at risk of contracting the Delta strain at higher rates. Students have a right to a safe learning environment, and teachers have a right to a safe working environment. Ensuring everyone who is eligible is fully vaccinated helps protect our youngest students and vulnerable adults.

Teachers who have not yet been vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses by taking individual precautions such as:

  • Maintaining good hand hygiene;
  • Wearing a mask indoors where physical distancing is not possible; and
  • Staying home if you are feeling unwell.

If a school division mandates any precautions, such as wearing personal protective equipment, cohorting students, etc., it is the responsibility of the school division to provide the necessary equipment to all staff.

  • Vaccination status is personal medical information and like all personal information, must be maintained and protected by school divisions in accordance with The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • Vaccines remain available to anyone over the age of 12 and to those who will be turning 12 in 2021.
  • Access to vaccine leave is still available. Under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, teachers are eligible for up to three hours leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccine without any deduction from your pay or benefits.
  • Vaccines are proven to be safe and effective and are the best tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of serious illness if COVID-19 is contracted. The Federation strongly encourages all eligible teachers to get vaccinated.
  • The Education Sector Response Planning Team also provided guidance on vaccine leave, noting that any tools used to track vaccine leave of staff must ensure that the information is held in the strictest of confidence, with very limited access, and for the sole and unique purpose of facilitating the absence.
  • Vaccination status does not impact a teacher’s ability to access sick days or other benefits. Sick leave and other negotiated benefits can be found in the  2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement and other negotiated leaves can be found in local agreements (LINC agreements).

As of September 10th, the Government of Saskatchewan has re-introduced mandatory isolationThe chart does not apply to students. The Order was updated on September 15 to exempt all students who are close contacts, regardless of where the exposure took place, from isolation if they are symptom-free. If you are required to isolate, you can access Quarantine Leave. Refer to the chart below to help determine if you need to self-isolate or monitor symptoms based on your vaccination status:

Vaccination Status

Tested Positive

Close Contact

Leave to Access

Unvaccinated

Mandatory Isolation for 10 days after receiving the positive test result

Mandatory isolation for 14 days after receiving notice that you are a close contact

Quarantine Leave

Fully Vaccinated

Mandatory isolation for 10 days after receiving the positive test result

No requirement to self-isolate if you are a close contact. You must monitor and seek testing at first sign of COVID-19 symptoms

Quarantine Leave if positive with COVID 19 only

  • Stay home if you are unwell.
  • Access to quarantine leave is dependent upon direction in a Public Health Order or by the direction of a public health officer. Teachers who are directed by a public health officer, such as an 811 specialist, to self-isolate due to a potential COVID-19 exposure would have access to quarantine leave in accordance with Article 12.2 of the 2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Teachers on full- time contracts are entitled to 20 days of sick leave per school year through Article Seven of the 2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Unused sick leave accumulates (ASL) from year to year. Teachers are encouraged to check their pay statements to confirm their ASL. Details can be found by reviewing Article Seven – Duty to Accommodate For Disability and Sick Leave in the 2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • If you are concerned you may have contracted COVID-19, call HealthLine 811 for direction. Be sure to:
    • Request and record the reference number for the call;
    • Note the date and time of the call; and
    • Record and follow the order or directive from the HealthLine consultant; and
    • If directed to stay home, contact your employer and enter absences as quarantine as per Article 12.2 of the 2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    • If you have questions about quarantine leave or have been denied quarantine leave, contact the Federation at 1-800-667-7762 and ask to speak to a member of the senior administrative staff.

The September 16 public health order from the government contains specific direction for students.

  • Vaccine Mandate:
    • At this time, the vaccine mandate taking place October 1, 2021, does not apply to schools. The Federation will continue to monitor mandates and provide updates as necessary.
  • Masking in schools:
    • The below requirements are the minimum standard set by the government. If your school’s division has put more stringent measures in place, those continue to apply.
      • Exempt for individuals who have a medical condition or disability. Medical documentation must be provided.
      • Masks during band class are not mandatory, as long as a distance of three metres can be maintained.
      • If distance can be maintained, a mask is not necessary for individuals during public speaking. This can include speaking from a podium, platform, stage, desk or other standing or seating area dedicated to speaking.
  • Student isolation orders:
    • If identified as a close contact:
      • “Close contact” refers to students who are in the same classroom as a positive case for more than 15 minutes or ride the bus or other shared transportation with a student who has tested positive for COVID-19.
      • Regardless of vaccine status, students who are close contacts are exempt from self-isolation to attend classes as long as they are symptom-free and must wear a mask. Students are required to self-isolate at home outside of class time, and unable to attend extracurricular activities.
      • For more information on what you need to know as a close contact visit the government’s website
    • If a student tests positive for COVID-19:
      • The individual must self isolate from 10 days
      • Continue to follow the advice of the health care provider and Saskatchewan Health Authority
      • If a student is suspected to be positive for COVID-19, you are advised to work with your Principal, and follow the divisions policies in place to address this situation.
Student Asymptomatic Symptomatic Bus/Transportation Extra Curricular
Close Contact Stay in school and monitor symptoms Isolate for 14 days following last exposure Yes No
Positive Isolate for 10 days from the positive COVID-19 test Isolate for 10 days following onset of symptoms No No
  • Full-day, in-person instruction is considered to be a full-time assignment. Double duty involves providing both full-day in-person instruction and additional, simultaneous virtual instruction to registered students.
  • If you have been assigned double duty, contact the Federation at 1-800-667-7762 and ask to speak to a member of the senior administrative staff.
  • Duty to Accommodate guidelines and process have not changed since pre-pandemic and are not impacted by the pandemic or Public Health Orders. 
  • The current process follows the guidance provided by the STF and SSBA in 2013. 
  • If you believe this applies to you or you have any questions, contact the Federation at 1-800-667-7762 and ask to speak to a member of the senior administrative staff.
  • Section 3-31 of The Saskatchewan Employment Act states that an employee may refuse to perform any particular act or series of acts at a place of employment if the employee has reasonable grounds to believe that the act or series of acts is unusually dangerous to the employee’s health or safety, or the health or safety of any other person at the place of employment until sufficient steps have been taken to satisfy the worker otherwise; or the occupational health and safety committee has investigated the matter and advised the worker otherwise.
    •  An employee’s right to refuse to perform work as a result of COVID-19 will be contingent upon many factors including, but not limited to the state of COVID-19 in the employee’s community and workplace at the time the refusal to work is being exercised, age and health of the specific employee, measures adopted by the school division to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and any other factually relevant considerations in assessing whether there is a hazard, a risk or a danger.
  • If you believe you have reasonable grounds to refuse work, contact the Federation at 1-800-667-7762 for guidance.

Changing Assignments

  • Teachers are contractually obligated to provide teaching service in whatever assignment their employer determines is required to meet the needs of students and the division.
  • The assignment must comply with the expectations of the 2019-2023 Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement.