Saskatchewan teachers begin voting Wednesday on latest tentative agreement | Globalnews.ca

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation began voting Wednesday morning on the latest tentative agreement reached with the province.

The result of the two-day vote is expected Thursday evening, according to the STF, potentially bringing an end to the bargaining process.

The government announced earlier in May that a tentative deal had been reached between the bargaining committees.


Click to play video: 'Future of Saskatchewan school year in province’s hands: STF president'


Future of Saskatchewan school year in province’s hands: STF president


The three-year agreement includes:

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  • An accountability framework signed by all parties and attached to the Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement as a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • An additional $18 million per year to address classroom complexity added to the Multi-Year Funding Agreement.
  • The creation of task force on classroom complexity, allowing teachers, parents and students to report on classroom complexity.
  • A policy table on violence-free classrooms.

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The agreement also includes three per cent salary increases for teachers for the next two years and a two per cent increase in the third year.

The tentative agreement also includes provisions on the Supplemental Employment Benefits Plan, grievance procedures, principals and vice-principals, and a Truth and Reconciliation preamble, according to the province.

The STF overwhelmingly rejected the government’s previous offer in May and voted 95 per cent in favour of renewed job sanctions if necessary.

The sides have been at odds, with the STF calling for issues like classroom size and complexity to be addressed in a new agreement and the province saying those issues fall under school board jurisdiction.

Issues around underfunding for education have been a persistent topic in Saskatchewan, with both teachers and school boards saying the province’s funding has not kept up with inflation for several years now.


Click to play video: 'Classroom ratios between teacher, student ‘ridiculous’: STF president'


Classroom ratios between teacher, student ‘ridiculous’: STF president


In the midst of collective bargaining talks, billboards started popping up across Saskatchewan from the provincial government talking about the proposed salary increase for teachers, calling it “A Fair Deal for Teachers.”

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The STF had also been vocal about what was described as a lack of movement from the government, with STF president Samantha Becotte saying in July 2023 that she foresaw an erosion of public education if supports weren’t brought forward.

Job action followed in the new year with strikes taking place at different schools on different days, as well as extracurricular activities and lunchroom supervision being pulled.

Talks at the bargaining table occurred less and less as the STF said it wouldn’t speak with the province’s bargaining committee unless it was given a new mandate to discuss issues that were important to teachers.

— with files from Global News’ Brody Langager

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