REGINA -- The Saskatchewan government is facing criticism for appointing a former Sask. Party candidate to a committee reviewing classroom size and composition.

The issues up for discussion are of vital importance to teachers in the province, but the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is taking a pass on taking part in the government’s review. The STF wants these issues addressed at the contract bargaining table.

The government has decided to hold consultation without the teachers, striking an eight member group of former educators, parents, and defeated Sask. Party candidate Thomas Sierzycki.

“We think the committee as it’s structured, while we don’t have any members of the STF is a broad committee that’s going to be able to do the research that they need to do to bring the recommendations forward that are needed to ensure that we deal with the issues that are in the classroom,” said Minister of Education Gordon Wyant.

Sierzycki ran in the last provincial election, campaigning with Brad Wall in La Ronge. His current role is Northern Education Advisor.

“Mr. Sierzycki’s commitment to public education speaks for itself,” Wyant added. “He has a (Bachelor’s of Education) so he’s got some background in education, he’s got a master’s degree in northern governance.”

The opposition NDP is critical of the consultation committee’s composition.

“Someone with deep political ties to the Sask. Party there while teachers are being shut out doesn’t speak well to their approach to the education sector,” NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon said.

The committee begins meeting next week with or without STF representation.

The government says the STF is welcome to join at any time during the process, should it change its mind.