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Sask. education minister offers to put accountability framework into legislation


As Saskatchewan teachers step up job sanctions with "work to rule" measures this week – Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill has offered to include accountability framework into the Education Act.

“Obviously when you put something in The Education Act, that becomes law,” Cockrill told reporters on Monday.

“So I think that was our effort to show that we’re serious about the accountability framework, school divisions are serious about the accountability framework, and that was an option we wanted to put out there.”

Cockrill revealed the offer during question period debate on Monday. In his answer, he said it was presented to the leadership of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF), where it was declined.

Measures to address classroom and complexity issues have been the main point of contention between the STF and the government since the beginning of bargaining talks last May.

Educators have demanded accountability from the government and insist on including the framework in their collective bargaining agreement – a proposal the province has outright denied on multiple occasions.

Of the $3.3 billion allocated to the Ministry of Education in the 2024-25 budget – $356 million in funding was earmarked for the issues of class size and complexity.

According to Cockrill, the framework would remain written into the act for the duration of the next teacher contract.

The NDP opposition reiterated its past concerns when asked about Cockrill’s proposal – saying the government cannot be trusted on the issue given its conduct in the past.

“The fact is this has been the longest job action in Saskatchewan history when it comes to teachers,” Love Education Critic Matt Love explained. “We have a minister who has a believability problem – [he] continually presents facts to the public which are simply not true.”

Love went on to say the government needs to own up to its track record of not following through with its promises to educators.

“This government needs to be held accountable for what they say in an election year,” he said. “This minister committing to put it in legislation, I’m not sure that would satisfy the level of accountability that frankly we need to hold this minister and this Sask. Party government to.”

When asked why legislation wouldn’t offer a set guarantee for teachers – Love offered an example.

“We have legislation that dictates election dates,” he explained. “It’s still up to the government whether they follow through on that.”

Minister Cockrill said he believes the two sides are getting closer to an agreement – with the remaining hurdle being how best to guarantee that classroom complexity will be addressed. Top Stories

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