The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation has announced a resumption of job action starting on Friday as conflicting video statements were posted by STF President Samantha Becotte and Provincial Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill Tuesday evening. Both used social media to say the other side had walked away from the negotiating table.  

Becotte’s, appearing to be filmed in the room where the bargaining sessions were scheduled to be held, was the first to be posted and stated the teachers’ bargaining committee had come to the table, ready to negotiate over the course of two days.  

“The Government Trustee Bargaining team didn’t even bother to show up to continue those conversations,” Becotte said in her post. “This government is trying to sidestep the bargaining process. They do not want to make long-term commitments that they can be held accountable to ensure that our students get the support that they need.” 

Cockrill’s video message was posted roughly five minutes after Becotte’s. In it, he said the STF were the ones who had walked away from the table despite the government offering what the teachers were asking for.  

“Two new commitments were offered to address the STF leadership’s outstanding concerns,” Cockrill said. “One, the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee made a new offer around teacher salaries, and two, outside of the contract, government has put forward a commitment regarding classroom composition. Bargaining requires both sides to be at the table, and the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee was ready to negotiate a fair deal, but the teachers’ union chose to walk away after just 30 minutes.” 

The STF has stated all discussions must take place at the bargaining table and reiterated this in a press release issued shortly after the announcement negotiations had again stalled. In the release, the STF said they are willing to return to the table as soon as the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee has a legitimate mandate to negotiate on all items.  

The release also announced a resumption of job action beginning on Friday, with the start again of rotating strikes, and the withdrawal of lunch hour supervision on Friday. Job action is also expected to resume after the February school break.  

The rotating strike on Friday will not affect Weyburn and instead is targeted in the school divisions within the ridings of Cockrill and Premier Scott Moe. The withdrawal of lunch supervision will happen in Weyburn, however. As of this morning, there was no word yet from the South East Cornerstone Public School Division or the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division as to how they will handle the situation.