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Saskatchewan teachers will work-to-rule as talks with province hit another snag

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation says teachers will be implementing a work-to-rule model starting Monday as contract talks with the province hit another snag.

STF president Samantha Becotte said discussions with the provincial government have been going on for the past few days after the province came forward offering an MOU to address classroom size and complexity.

Becotte had said before discussions even began that the teachers union would need something to make the agreement binding, but added that was a point the government wasn’t willing to agree upon.

“When the actions of government continually contradict their words it’s difficult to trust anything they say these days,” Becotte said.

Click to play video: 'Sask. government MOU has STF ‘cautiously optimistic’ about potential bargaining agreement'

Sask. government MOU has STF ‘cautiously optimistic’ about potential bargaining agreement

She said the only addition that the STF had asked for was one line saying that the parties signing this MOU would follow through on their commitments.

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Becotte also said that work-to-rule would mean that teachers would be restricted in the hours they work, from 15 minutes before the school day begins to 15 minutes after the school day ends.

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Voluntary activities like extracurriculars are off the table as are noon-hour supervision responsibilities, Becotte added.

She said the union won’t be going back to the bargaining table “to stare at each other,” adding that the government bargaining committee doesn’t have a mandate to negotiate on the issues important to teachers.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation losing hope for return to bargaining table'

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation losing hope for return to bargaining table

“These invitations are completely hollow.”

Becotte said she was hopeful when the MOU was offered and didn’t want things to get to this point.

Before the announcement, Global News received a statement from the ministry of education about the offer to teachers.

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“Government and school boards remain firm that class size and complexity will not be included in the new collective agreement,” the statement read.

“However, government has offered the STF the ability to participate in the development of the accountability framework MOU and the subsequent framework. Their involvement would allow teachers to have direct input in the formation of the accountability framework that would oversee how the $356.6 million for classroom supports, as announced in the 2024-25 provincial budget, is utilized.”

Global News has reached out for an updated response from the ministry.

More to come.

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