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Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation suspends job action as contract negotiations set to resume

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is suspending all job action as the STF and the provincial government are set to resume contract negotiations.

“The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (GTBC) extended the invitation late Wednesday, saying it had received a new mandate from the provincial government,” the STF said in a release.

The two sides are scheduled to meet on Monday, Feb. 12 in Saskatoon.

Effective immediately, the federation is suspending all planned job action. This means the scheduled provincewide withdrawal of noon-hour supervision planned for Thursday has been cancelled.

“We welcome the opportunity to return to the bargaining table to discuss teachers’ proposals and the important issues facing education in Saskatchewan,” STF president Samantha Becotte said. “We are hopeful that the GTBC’s new mandate will allow for productive negotiations that will address the needs of students and teachers.”

“We are encouraged by this change in course,” Becotte said. “The solidarity of teachers and the outpouring of support from parents, students, businesses, churches and religious groups and the general public across the province have played a crucial role in helping bring government back to the table.

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“These past weeks have made it clear that teachers are united and committed to students and public education. Should these negotiations fail, job action will resume.”

Jeremy Cockrill took to X earlier Wednesday, saying the government has authorized the GTBC to offer a new mandate, “to either negotiate an extension of the current salary offer, or to negotiate a deal that would see teachers receive the same annual salary adjustments, under the same salary formula that MLAs receive.”

“Those adjustments would be based on the cost of living a compensation formula that includes a three per cent ceiling and a zero percent floor depending on the consumer price index for the previous year,” Cockrill went on to say.

Teachers and the provincial government have been butting heads over a new contract agreement, with one of the main sticking points over classroom size and complexity.

While both sides recognize that classroom size and complexity are issues that need to be addressed, teachers would like those issues to be part of the bargaining process. However, the province refuses, saying those are issues better handled by local school boards.

As of Wednesday, no information was provided by the STF or the government on classroom size and complexity as part of the announcement the two sides would be returning to the table.

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