The Opposition New Democrats are weighing in on the breakdown in talks between the province’s teacher negotiators and the Government-Trustee Bargaining Team.
Yesterday, Official Opposition Education Critic Matt Love responded to what he called the Saskatchewan Party government’s failure to secure a fair deal for Saskatchewan teachers, resulting in an impasse with the potential for future job action.
“I’m deeply disappointed that the Moe government did not offer a fair deal,” said Love. “This government needs to start making our kids a priority. Teachers’ working conditions are our kids’ learning conditions.”
An NDP release indicated that news of the bargaining impasse in Saskatchewan comes as other provinces like Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador secure deals with their teachers to improve working conditions. The release went on to claim that under the Saskatchewan Party government, education funding has fallen significantly over the last decade and the learning conditions of students have worsened. Saskatchewan has gone from having the highest levels of per-pupil funding to one of the lowest in Canada.
“This government shouldn’t be focusing its energy on misleading billboards that vilify teachers,” said Love. “This is a crisis of Moe’s making. Any potential job action falls solely at the feet of Scott Moe and his education minister.”
Love also pointed to the latest report by the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth to illustrate what he dubbed the Moe government’s misplaced priorities. The report again called on the provincial government to ensure that all schools comply with The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018. Legacy Christian Academy and other independent schools with alleged histories of abuse have recently received greater funding increases than public, Catholic, and conseil scolaire schools.
“What we see in this report is a continued failure by this government to take the concerns of the Children’s Advocate seriously. Many of these concerns were previously flagged last year,” said Love. “Every school in Saskatchewan must follow the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. That shouldn’t be up for debate.”
Asked what could be done at this point to avert job action, Love stated, “I think sitting at the table in good faith, listening to the realities in our classrooms, and investing in education with adequate predictable and sustainable funding so that every kid in Saskatchewan who attends a public, Catholic, or conseil scolaire school has a chance to succeed.”
A conciliator’s report is expected shortly. Meanwhile, the STF has stated they are preparing for possible next steps in strategy sessions.
-with files from discoverhumboldt.com
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