The province and Saskatchewan teachers are still at an impasse after the legislature's spring session began yesterday with a demonstration from teachers. 

Over 3000 teachers attended the strike at the legislative building in Regina on Monday as job action continued.  Teachers from Holy Family Catholic School Division and the South East Cornerstone School Division were part of the demonstration.  

“The level of support we’ve seen is a sign to teachers across the province that Saskatchewan people share our goal of achieving long-term funding commitments that will improve the classroom experience for students and it is a clear signal to government that we are united, we are supported, and we are not backing down,” said, Samantha Becotte Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation president in a press release on Monday.   

The release stated that if the government did not provide a new mandate to bargain on issues such as class size and complexity, teachers would be withdrawing all extra-curricular support.  

No mandates were made, and teachers have withdrawn extra-curricular support for Tuesday, and Wednesday.  

Estevan MLA Lori Carr said she understands why the teachers are taking job action but believes teachers and students should be in the classroom, and the teacher’s bargaining unit should be at the bargaining table.  

“We have been at the bargaining table ready to bargain. The last time the negotiation committee met the Teacher’s union walked away after 30 minutes and have not returned,” said Carr. 

The STF release said that students, teachers, and families were in this situation because the government would not listen.  

“For years, they have not listened to parents, teachers, trustees, and other experts in the education sector who have been raising alarm bells about underfunding. Today, we bring those concerns to their doorstep. Enough is enough,” said Becotte.  

Carr said the provincial government has moved on several teacher union demands, and the union hasn’t moved at all. 

“The government has made reasonable affordable concessions to the teachers union to return to the table and reach a fair agreement for teachers and for the Saskatchewan taxpayers who already invest more per capita in education than any other province in Canada,” said Carr. “They asked for class size and composition funding to be annualized, we offered it. They asked for two innovative pilot projects to be annualized, we offered it. They asked for the same salary deal that the MLA’s get and we offered it.”  

She added that in the upcoming budget, there will be a record budget increase in school operating funding and a record new commitment to address class size and complexity is something people should anticipate seeing. 

“In recent years, and like specifically during COVID, we have seen the consequences of kids not being in the classroom, and we never want to repeat that,” said Carr. “In light of these significant commitments that the government has made, we're asking that the STF pause their job action, so the teachers and students can return to their classrooms and the teachers union can return to the bargaining table.” 

On Tuesday morning the STF announced further job action. They will be withdrawing noon-hour supervision on Friday, March 8.