Negotiations between Saskatchewan teachers and the province will resume next week


Saskatchewan teachers and the province are expected to resume negotiations on Wednesday.

On Friday afternoon, the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee officially accepted the invitation from the Teachers' Bargaining Committee (TBC) to resume talks, according to a press release from the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF).

This comes after the province's latest offer was rejected on Thursday. Over two days, 88 percent of STF members voted, with 55 percent voting no to the latest offer.

While Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said he believed binding arbitration was the best course of action going forward, STF President Samantha Becotte said there were other options that needed to be discussed at the negotiating table.

The offer rejected by the teachers included an accountability framework that would have been signed by the STF, the government and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) and attached to the agreement as a memorandum of understanding.

Also included was an additional $18 million per year to reduce classroom size and complexity, which would have been added to a multi-year funding agreement signed by the SSBA and the province in early 2024.

In addition, a Ministerial Working Group on Complexity in the Classroom was established, comprising teachers, students and parents, and a Strategy Table on Violence-Free Classrooms, to be chaired by the Ministry of Education and attended by representatives of the STF and the SSBA.

The proposed salary increases are three percent in 2023, three percent in 2024 and two percent in 2025.

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In March, the STF invited the province to participate in binding arbitration on the issue of class size and complexity, but Cockrill said at the time that this was not appropriate because class size and complexity were not issues related to the collective agreement.

Should binding arbitration take place, both sides would each appoint one member to an arbitration tribunal, Cockrill said on Friday morning.

An initial offer from the province was rejected by teachers on May 9 with 90 percent of votes against and over 92 percent of members voting against.

Saskatchewan teachers have been out of contract since August 2023 and initial negotiations began in May 2023.

There will be no industrial action by teachers during the negotiations. However, if the talks reach an impasse, 48 hours' notice will be given.

-Further details to follow.

-With files from Drew Postey and David Prisciak