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Bargaining underway for new contract for Sask. teachers

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Contract negotiations for a new contract for Saskatchewan teachers began this week between the Teachers’ Bargaining Committee and Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee.

According to a news release from the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF), several proposals have been presented, which were created following input from teachers across the province and a unanimous approval at the STF’s annual general meeting.

Teachers expressed concerns about class size and complexity as well as salary in the first round of talks.

“Other proposals include violence-free classrooms, teacher professional autonomy, truth and reconciliation and conditions of employment for substitute teachers,” the release said.

“Like everyone else, teachers are feeling the pressures of rising costs. Since 2016, teachers have lost almost eight percent of their purchasing power. This is effectively a loss of income,” STF president Samantha Becotte said in the release. “Recruiting and retaining well-educated professionals requires they are paid a salary that reflects their education and experience. Right now, Saskatchewan teachers are the lowest paid in western Canada.”

The STF said it’s expected negotiations will continue to take place throughout the summer, with the next round of talks scheduled for June 28 and 29 in Regina.

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