The vote by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation this week on the offer from the provincial government was a resounding rejection of the deal. More than 11,200 teachers of the STF’s membership of 13,500 were opposed to the deal. Now, the STF is calling for a return to the negotiating table.  

"This vote is a clear demonstration of the high level of engagement of teachers throughout the process, and also shows the resolve that they have to fight for their students and for public education,” stated Samantha Becotte, the president of the STF. “Following the vote, we extended an invitation to the GTBC asking them to a new mandate from the government and SSBA (Saskatchewan School Boards Association) and to return to the table in good faith as soon as possible.” 

However, that new mandate may not be given by the Ministry of Education to the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee. Minister Jeremy Cockrill stated classroom complexity would not be included in any deal. He also said he wanted to know more about the STF’s position and the priorities of the membership. 

"While on the surface this sounds encouraging, this comment displays the high level of indifference that the Minister and this government have shown over the last year of bargaining,” Becotte said. “It is something that I find very concerning and should be a concern for others in the public that are connected to education, or not.” 

The STF has invited the GTBC back to the bargaining table as soon as possible. By 11:00 a.m. this morning, there hadn’t been a response from the government but Becotte was confident they would hear something soon. She also said they would not take further job action until they had heard back from the GTBC. If further job action would take place, it would be done with a minimum of 48 hours' notice.  

The STF started their job action in January, after an impasse was declared in contract negotiations in October, and after a conciliator’s report was prepared stating classroom size and complexity should be included in the deal. The STF has also proposed binding arbitration on the deal, but the government has declined arbitration.