Letters: Sask. Government teachers must work together to end the dispute


“The educational future of our province’s students is in limbo and at great risk,” writes Dave Morgan.

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It is imperative that the Government of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation end this long-running dispute over teacher contracts now.

The educational future of our province’s students is in limbo and at great risk.

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Our provincial government has previously rejected the use of mandatory arbitration to resolve this contract dispute. More recently, our province's teachers overwhelmingly rejected the so-called “final offer” from the joint government-school board negotiating team.

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In order to find a mutually satisfactory solution to this dispute, all parties involved in this dispute should agree to retain an experienced, reputable third-party mediator with a proven track record of resolving labor disputes as a final attempt to resolve this impasse.

Such a mediator would need to be given a mandate and authority, requiring both sides to remain at the negotiating table and negotiate in “good faith” until such an agreement is reached.

Surely the students of this province, their families, their teachers and all citizens of Saskatchewan deserve nothing less.

Dave Morgan, Regina

MPs' pro-plastic bill is poorly thought out

Conservative MPs Corey Tochor (Saskatoon University) and Lianne Rood (Lambton-Kent) complain that biodegradable straws and coffee cup lids are replacing plastic.

Tochor has now tabled an ill-conceived private member's bill to amend plastics legislation. These politicians spread information that misleads and circumvents facts and ignores reality to support their opinions.

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345 million tons of plastic are produced every year, up to 50 percent of which is intended for single use. Millions of tons enter the oceans every year in lakes, streams and rivers. Plastic is primarily derived from fossil fuel-based chemicals, and much of it also contains dangerous PFAS chemicals.

Plastic has a lifespan of 100 to 200 years and does not break down. It breaks down into millions of particles called microplastics and smaller nanoplastics. A significant percentage of the world's drinking water now contains these plastic particles, which are washed out of urban wastewater and landfills.

While ingested microplastics are largely excreted from the body naturally, nanoplastics are small enough to enter the bloodstream and deposit in organs such as the liver and brain. Landfills worldwide are flooded with millions of tons of plastic waste because only nine percent of plastic is recycled. .

Politicians who ignore and do not support a clean and safe ecological environment for the long-term health and well-being of our planet and future generations should be ashamed and ashamed. It is vital that we curb plastic pollution to the last straw.

Terry Neefs, Saskatoon

(Neefs is a former professor and industry consultant.)

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