A tentative agreement has been reached between the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (GBC) and the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) Bargaining Committee.

The agreement was reached today following a recent round of negotiations. The recent negotiations came after the teachers rejected the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee’s offer that was brought to the STF membership earlier this month. 

The STF will be holding all-member virtual town hall meetings on May 21 and 22 to present the agreement to its membership. Teachers will vote to ratify the agreement on May 29 and 30. 

“I want to thank parents, teachers, and students for their patience during this process,” Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said in a press release. “I am hopeful that the tentative agreement will be finalized so that predictability is provided to families and teachers.” 

The tentative offer is being endorsed and recommended by STF’s provincial executive for ratification. 

The “final offer” that was presented to teachers earlier this month was rejected by 90 percent of the teachers that voted. STF President Samantha Becotte talked about the impact that vote had at the negotiation table. 

“Well, the 90 percent vote I think was a message to government that their final offer, or what had been phrased as a final offer, hadn’t been sufficient,” Becotte said. 

“From that and through the informal conversations that happened earlier this week, we were able to make additional gains. But, as I said, we’re going to present that information to our members.” 

Becotte added that the tone around the negotiation table was a lot different this time around. 

“I did feel a change in tone at the table as well. There really was a willingness from all people involved, all parties involved, to reach an agreement. We all worked very hard over the course of this week on both sides of the table to get to this point where we would be able to announce a tentative agreement,” she said. 

Other than it was a three-year agreement, Becotte said details will not be released until the STF has an opportunity to present the tentative agreement to its members. 

“We will be sharing those details with our members over the next coming days. Once they have received the information, we will share some more with the public. We want to make sure that our members are hearing it first and they’re able to digest the information prior to it becoming part of the public discourse,” Becotte said. 

Two of the top priorities for the teachers were addressing classroom size and complexity and teacher compensation. 

“We had talked about the accountability framework prior to bringing this tentative agreement forward that was included in the final offer from the GBC or at least referenced as a final offer. We will be further discussing that detail with our members in the coming days,” said Becotte. 

The STF announced on Thursday that 83 percent of teachers voted 95 percent in favour of further job action if an agreement could not be struck.