The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is in the final hours of voting on the contract offer from the provincial government this afternoon. The voting will be continuing until 6:00 p.m., and then the numbers will be added up. In a release issued this morning, the STF stated they will be announcing the results after they have notified the membership first.  

There has been substantial back-and-forth between the STF and the provincial government, even after the voting got underway yesterday. The Minister of Education, Jeremy Cockrill, along with Premier Scott Moe, have both stated they could look at extending the school year if the STF rejects the contract offer. 

“It’s our responsibility to ensure Saskatchewan students receive the instructional hours required under legislation,” Cockrill stated, with the decision based on the amount of time lost by job action undertaken by teachers since January. No clarification was made at the time as to how this would happen, as the most days of instruction lost due to the job action was five, and that was in two different school divisions. Additionally, the Education Act restricts the end of the school year to being no later than June 30th.  

"I do think it's an attempt to influence the decision by teachers this week, and potentially influence the public if sanctions were to continue," Samantha Becotte, president of the STF, said in an interview.  "Whatever is decided with the school year, that is their choice and the choice of school boards, and they'll be the ones that make that decision regardless of what teachers do." 

Becotte has said the STF will request the bargaining teams go back to the table if the teachers vote against the offer.

-with files from Canadian Press