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Here's what 'classroom complexity' means according to STF president Samantha Becotte


After a third party report deemed Saskatchewan teachers have the right to negotiate their working conditions – Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) President Samantha Becotte says she hopes the findings break the stalemate in negotiations.

“We have just received the conciliator’s report back and we are hoping to use that as a starting point going forward,” Becotte told CTV Morning Live Saskatchewan.

“But we need to see a commitment from this government to come to the table to start addressing the big problems that teachers and students are experiencing in classrooms across the province.”

The biggest problems are classroom sizes and complexity – issues that have plagued Saskatchewan schools for years. According to Becotte – there’s no one simple fix.

“Class size is the easier one. Obviously, it's the number of students in the classroom but class complexity talks about all of the needs that students have in the classroom,” she said.

“When we talk about weather in Saskatchewan – we often talk about that wind chill effect. So class complexity is what it feels like in a classroom.”

Additional learning needs, behavioural supports, split grades and English as an additional language are all factors that complicate classrooms for educators according to Becotte.

“There isn't one ideal class size because we are diverse province and every classroom is a unique situation,” she explained. “It depends on how many additional needs are needed or how many students have intensive needs requirements and what supports are available to them support that class.”

In a statement to CTV News on Jan. 8 – the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (GTBC) outlined that it is only willing to discuss matters of compensation with the STF.

“Teachers are doing everything that we can to avoid taking additional action and creating any disruptions within our schools. But ultimately, that's going to come down to government's decision. Are they going to come to the table and start addressing the needs that our students have?” Becotte explained.

“We'll do what's necessary, but our goal is to get an agreement and our goal is to get back to the table and have those conversations,” she added.

The STF's most recent contract expired in August. It was signed in 2020 after rocky negotiations that saw teachers withdraw from voluntary extracurricular activities.

With files from Josh Lynn. Top Stories

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