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Negotiations break down between Sask. government, teachers

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Talks between the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) and the provincial government have broken down, according to video updates posted by both sides Tuesday evening.

The province and the STF blame each other for walking away from the table.

Sanctions have now been reinstated, effective Friday, Feb. 16.

So far in the dispute, the STF has implemented two full-day, province-wide strikes and two rotating strikes affecting various communities. Teachers also planned on withholding lunchtime supervision across the province last week, but the plan was called off when all job action was suspended to restart talks.

Following the breakdown of discussions, the STF plans to implement a new round of rotating strikes affecting five school divisions and a withdrawal of noon hour supervision services provincewide on Friday.

"Enough is enough. Come to the table ready to negotiate in good faith on teachers' working conditions and students' learning conditions, and teacher compensation," STF President Samantha Becotte said in a pre-recorded video posted to X.

Disagreements on classroom size and complexity remain at the centre of negotiations, something other provinces have bargained on in the past.

According to an STF news release, the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee was scheduled to resume talks at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday before advising they would not return, leading the STF to declare an impasse once more.

Meanwhile, the government released its own pre-recorded video statement from Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill.

"Teachers and children should be in the classroom, union leadership should be at the bargaining table," Cockrill said. "We remain at the table, ready to negotiate, whenever union leadership is."

The STF said it's willing to return to the table when the bargaining committee has a "legitimate mandate" to negotiate on all items. A press conference with Becotte has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Cockrill will also address reporters Wednesday.

Teachers have been without a contract since August 2023.

Schools and divisions impacted by rotating strikes Friday are as follows:

  • Saskatchewan Rivers School Division
  • Prince Albert Catholic School Division
  • Living Sky School Division
  • Light of Christ School Division
  • Sakewew High School (North Battleford)
  • École St Isidore De Bellevue (Prince Albert)
  • École Valois (Prince Albert)
  • École Père Mercure (North Battleford)
  • Saskatchewan Distance Learning Corporation - North Central Campus (Prince Albert)

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