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5-day notice given before Sask. teachers withdraw all extracurricular support

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) announced more job action with hopes to urge the province back to the bargaining table with a renewed mandate.

The STF gave a five-day notice before withdrawing all extracurricular support across the province, which includes athletics, non-curricular arts, field trips, student travel and graduation preparations.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan classroom issues continue to hamper negotiations, STF president says'

Saskatchewan classroom issues continue to hamper negotiations, STF president says

“This job action can be stopped immediately when government is ready to negotiate on all issues of importance to teachers, including class size and complexity,” STF president Samantha Becotte said in a release. “If Minister of Education Jeremey Cockrill, Premier Scott Moe, and Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Jaimie Smith-Windsor are truly committed to improving the experience of students in schools, they should have no problem allowing the discussion of these items at the bargaining table.”

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The provincewide withdrawal of extracurricular activities will begin with two full days on March 5 and 6. The STF hopes its strategy of rotating job action will push the government to address class size and complexity in collective bargaining.

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“Government isn’t just ignoring teachers. They are ignoring the needs of students, parents and the people they are elected to serve. More than 100,000 emails have been sent to government through Tell Them Tuesday,” Becotte said. “If government continues to ignore this, we will have no choice but to further escalate job action.”

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According to the release, teachers are asking parents, students, business owners and other community members to continue their support of public education in order to compel government and trustees to return to the table ready to address all issues.

In an email to Global News, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education said the government trustee bargaining committee extended invitations every day last week to the STF to come back to the bargaining table, where negotiators had been waiting and were ready to engage in meaningful discussions.

“The government has moved on a number of items that the STF asked for, including a renewed salary mandate and workplace safety enhancements. The STF has refused to move off their initial proposals, including a 23.4 per cent salary increase,” the ministry stated.

“Outside of bargaining, government has proposed an agreement with the STF to annualize the $53.1 million in additional funding for class size and complexity. Since October, the STF has been at the bargaining table for a total of 30 minutes.”

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In the statement, the ministry added that teachers and students should be in the classroom, and the teachers’ union should be at the bargaining table.

– with files from Mackenzie Mazankowski

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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