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Saskatchewan teachers on strike next Tuesday

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The union and the Ministry of Education have been at the negotiating table since June, while the teachers' contract ended last August. (Archive photo)

  • Vincent H. Turgeon (View profile)Vincent H. Turgeon

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Elementary and secondary teachers in Saskatchewan are threatening to hold a one-day strike on January 16 if the provincial government does not agree to negotiate on working conditions with the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF).

For the moment, only one day of strike is planned by the STF.

The union and the Ministry of Education have been at the negotiating table since June, while the teachers' contract ended last August.

The STF is asking in particular for more resources for schools, but also for an increase in salaries.

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation is concerned that the government is not sufficiently taking into account the growing difficulties and complexities experienced in the province's classrooms.

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The Minister of Education, Jeremy Cockrill, maintains that school divisions are better equipped than the provincial government to manage concerns in the classroom.

The province also proposed a 7% wage increase over three years, an offer it considers suitable.

In December, both parties are entered into conciliation. However, after five days, the union claimed that the negotiations were at an impasse. The Ministry of Education, for its part, said it remained committed to negotiating in good faith with the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation.

Last October, STF members voted 95% in favor of sanctions. Up to 90% of members participated in this vote.

Among the possible sanctions, the president of the Federation, Samantha Becotte, mentioned in particular withdrawal of voluntary services and professionals or a strike.

Withdrawal of voluntary services means that teachers would report only 20 minutes before school days and would leave 20 minutes after the end of each day.

At the time of this vote, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents 7,000 workers support throughout the province, had offered all its support to teachers.

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